How are you today? I would like to welcome you back to this short time of reflection after four weeks of absence. It is such a delight to greet you in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It has been a long hard road for many of us this past two years. Each of our world has been greatly affected – if not already turned upside down. Life is so different now that so many things we have taken for granted before are not possible. This has brought stress, anxiety and inconveniences to many of us. If you are not coping well, please feel free to reach out. Do not keep it to yourself. There is help available.
Let us pause and pray for loved ones isolated or apart from each other due to illness or restrictions.
God of all love, in whom we are all united, and from whom we can never be parted, strengthen all those far from loved ones this day. Help us to know your presence with us and with them and strengthen our hearts by your spirit, that they and we may know the consolation of our fellowship in you, and may hope in due time, for the joy of reunion, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of the Week
Loving Father, whose Son Jesus Christ has taught us that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters we do also for him: give us the will to be the servant of others as he was the servant of all, who gave up his life and died for us, and yet lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Bible Reading: Matthew 6:5-13.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
Devotion: I cannot Pray
The Lord’s prayer is one of the best know Christian prayer in the world. In 2000 years of Christian history, no prayer has surpassed the eloquent simplicity of the Lord’s Prayer. It transcends language and ritual and culture and race. These ancient words speak with such contemporary power.
Countless people have memorised it in all languages. I remember my grandmother taught me to memorise it in Hakka when I was only three years old. You also might be one of those who can memorise the Lord’s Prayer too. Though I could memorise it, I did not really know what it meant.
I suspect this is the case for millions of Christians who know the Lord’s Prayer and may even memorised it but has not thought about its deep and rich meaning.
Below is an article I read some time ago that reminded me again on how to pray the Lord’s prayer more meaningfully.
I cannot pray “Our” if my faith has no room for others and their needs.
I cannot pray “Father” if I do not demonstrate this relationship in my daily life.
I cannot pray “who is in Heaven” if all my interests and pursuits are in earthly things.
I cannot pray “hallowed be Your name” if I, who am called by his name am not holy.
I cannot pray “Your Kingdom come” if I am unwilling to give up my own sovereignty and accept the righteous reign of God.
I cannot pray “Your will be done” if I am unwilling or resentful of having it in my life.
I cannot pray “on Earth as it is in Heaven” unless I am truly ready to give myself to his service here and now.
I cannot pray “give us this day our daily bread” without expending honest effort for it or by ignoring the genuine needs of those near and far.
I cannot pray “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” if I continue to harbour a grudge against anyone.
I cannot pray “lead us not into temptation” if I deliberately choose to remain in a situation where I am likely to be tempted.
I cannot pray “deliver us from evil” if I am not prepared to fight in the spiritual realm with the weapon of prayer.
I cannot pray “Yours is the kingdom” if I do not give the King the disciplined obedience of a loyal subject.
I cannot pray ” Yours is the power” if I fear what my neighbours do or say to me.
I cannot pray ” Yours is the glory” if I am seeking my own glory first.
I cannot pray “forever” if I am anxious about each day’s events.
I cannot pray “Amen” unless I honestly say “Cost what it may, this is my prayer.”
Let us together pray the Lord’s Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
O God who goes before you: Give you wisdom and strength to live this week as a true disciple of His. Give you courage enough to follow Him into the difficult places you rather avoid. Give you love enough to bear patiently with the hurts and struggles of your friends. Give you faith, patience and perseverance to hold His hand tightly each day. Give you peace enough to accept and nurture your own selves. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.
I hope you’ll have a chance to enjoy the outdoors a little more this week, and maybe catch up with a friend or loved one. Do look after yourself! Looking forward to seeing you here again next Monday. Till we meet again, follow Christ joyfully, rejoice always, do good, love outrageously, enjoy life, praise God. Amen. Till we meet again, goodbye.