Summary: A meditation on the Lord’s prayer as it is presented in Matthew.
Note: If you are not familiar with the Lectio Divina/ meditation style of preaching PLEASE LISTEN to the mp3 FIRST before reading the script.
Today we are going on a journey to be with Jesus. And I want you to use your thinking and your imagination; to involve yourself in the journey. So take a position which is comfortable for you and close your eyes so you are not distracted. See yourself where you are, right now. Now imagine that a taxi has pulled up outside, and it is waiting for you. You grab your things, say goodbye, and go out and get in the taxi. As you close the taxi door you tell the driver to take you to your favorite place to relax, and the taxi takes off. Looking at the seat beside you, you see all the things that you have brought with you and all the things that you were thinking, musing or worrying about. They are safely with you. So you sit back and relax and watch the scenery go past as you travel to your special place. As you are getting closer, the taxi driver says, don’t worry about taking all your stuff with you, I will be waiting for you when you are finished so you can leave all your stuff safely in the car. Then looking out the window you see you are almost there! The taxi stops and you get out. Walking away till the taxi is out of sight, you find your favourite place to be. It is a beautiful day. The sun is warm, the breeze is gentle and cool, and the sky is blue.
Hear the voice of Jesus saying, “Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 20:28)
Jesus is here, here with you.
Jesus is here, now, with you.
Jesus is here.
Think what he would be like if you could actually see him.
Picture Jesus if you can,
Look at his hands and feet.............. the marks of love are there.
Jesus is here. Jesus is here. Jesus is here, with you.
And Jesus says to you:
When you are praying,
when you are talking to me or God
when you are seeking to connect with us through words or thoughts
do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do;
Do not say prayers you have learned that you do not understand, as though God speaks a language foreign to you.
Do not simply say prayers because you think those are the words God wants to hear when those words are empty of meaning for you, for then it seems like you are a stranger to God.
Do not let your prayers be mindless, emotionless, repetitive babble as though you did not know God personally.
So do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do;
for the Gentiles think that they will be heard because of their many words.
No, I am not saying don’t ever pray for the same thing twice, but those who do not know God seem to think they can get God to listen to them and do what they want simply by throwing lots of words at Him, even when they don’t believe or understand what they say.
Those who do not know God personally seem to think He is unable or unwilling to understand or sympathize with their real thoughts and feelings so they throw lots of rote learned phrases His way in the hope that it will impress Him.