The Four (Or Five) Prayers That I Am Afraid To Pray: (#5) Lord, May Those People Who Read This Writing Take Your Message Seriously

Praying Hands (II)There are two types of people who read this writing: (1) Christians, and (2) non-Christians.

This typology is not a value statement on Christians and non-Christians. Instead, it is meant to serve as a way of understanding that the prayer, “Lord, may those people who read this writing take your message seriously,” is applicable to the two types of people – to all people.

For the Christian, to be Christ like is a very serious thing, and the prayer reflects that it (i.e., one’s faith in and relationship with Jesus) is treated as such.

For the non-Christian, the message that Jesus has for you is of the utmost importance, and the prayer is that you find it so.

I am afraid that the prayer “Lord, may those who read this writing take your message seriously” may offend you, but the greater concern is that The Good News is not taken seriously.

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The Four (Or Five) Prayers I Am Afraid To Prayer: (#4) Lord, Help Me Not to Worry

“Lord, help me not to worry” may seem like a silly prayer to be afraid to pray, but follow me, there’s a very serious side to this.

First, as soon as I pray, “Lord, help me not to worry,” I know God will do His part, but I worry that I won’t do my part: stop worrying … and, of course, I just failed to stop worrying. Not good.

Second, and this is big, worry is indicative of a fundamental breakdown in my relationship with God.

Isn’t God big enough to handle the stuff, all the stuff, of my life? If yes, and it is a yes, then there should be no room for worry. And if there is worry, then it shows a lack of trust in God on my part: a fundamental breakdown. That’s big.

Now do you see why I’m afraid to pray “Lord, help me not to worry”? Failure is a big thing.

Yet avoidance is not a good option.

Not praying that prayer is not a good option.

So, God, with a trust like no other trust, I pray, “Lord, help me not to worry.”

 

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The Four (Or Five) Prayers I Am Afraid To Pray: (#3) Lord, Make Me Humble

Humility is a character trait not generally admired in our culture. It is associated with a doormat.

I don’t want to be a doormat, yet here is what I read in the Bible.

  • “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord,” James 4:10;
  • “Therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering,” Colossians 3:12; and
  • “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,” I Peter 5:6

I could just ignore the humble thing.

Maybe I could get by with erring on the side of just enough pride and arrogance to be culturally acceptable. Well, the Bible has something to say about that, too.

  • “When pride comes, then comes shame,” Provers 10:2;
  • “Everyone proud is an abomination to the Lord,” Proverbs 16:5;
  • “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty,” Proverbs 18:12;
  • “A haughty look, a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked are sin,” Proverbs 21:4;
  • “A man’s pride will bring him low,” Proverbs 29:23; and
  • “God resists the proud,” James 4:6

On my own, I’m afraid to be humble – to be seen and used as a doormat by friends and foes.

But that isn’t Biblical humility. Biblical humility is a proper relationship with Me, the Messiah, and His Mission for me.

In that, I am not on my own and I can pray with courage and boldness, “Lord, make me humble.”

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The Four (Or Five) Prayers That I Am Afraid To Pray: (#2) Lord, Forgive Them

I like the idea of forgiveness – when it applies to me.

I John 1:9 comforts: Upon confession of my sins, God will “forgive [me of my] sins and cleanse [me] from all unrighteousness.”

I’m a little less enamored with the concept of forgiveness when it’s my turn to forgive those who have hurt me. My inclination is to sympathize with the psalmist when he cried out to God regarding his enemies, “consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be,”  (Psalm 59:13, NKJV).

But sympathy with the psalmist should not replace biblical instruction.

In Colossians 3:13 the exhortation to forgive is clear, “Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you,” (The Message).

Also, the consequence for not forgiving is as severe as it is obvious. Jesus said, “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses,” (Mark 11:26, NKJV).

There is a practical side to forgiveness that should not be overlooked, too. Anne Lamott noted, “Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.”

OK, God, I get it. Help me with this prayer.

Father in Heaven, I’ve been hurt by both friends and enemies. Some have done so innocently; some have done it with the intent to inflict pain. Some of those people are unashamedly scoundrels, others clothe themselves in a self-righteousness admired by not only by themselves, but also a far greater number than those who see them as they really are. But all that does not release me from that which I must do: Lord, forgive them.

 

 

 

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The Four (Or Five) Prayers That I Am Afraid To Pray: (#1) Your Will Be Done

Prayer is an important part in the life of a Christian.

I pray. I enjoy praying – talking and listening to God.

However, there are prayers that I am afraid to pray. Why? Because God might just answer, “You got it!”

For example, Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Your will be done,” Matthew 6:9-13.

Like many Christians I’ve prayed that prayer hundreds of times, but, if you really think about it, praying “Your will be done” can be a bit scary.

Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done,” Luke 22:42.  That prayer opened the door for Jesus to face all the indignations and brutalities that led up to and included a tortuous death on a Roman cross.

You see, when I pray “Your will be done,” there is a part of me that likes to add this thought: “unless ‘Your Will’ takes me out of my comfort zone.”

But that’s not what Jesus taught. That’s not what Jesus prayed. That’s not how Jesus lived.

C.S. Lewis noted, “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.'”

I choose to be among the first kind.

So, with a faith that pushes aside fear, I come to God the Father with what Jesus taught, prayed, and lived, and say, “Your will be done.”

 

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Upon Graduation From High School, Is There More To Life Than Being An Independent Thinker, Prepared For Success In College, Career, Or The Military, And Citizenship?

Abraham Lincoln said, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.”

What is the philosophy of Texas’s K-12 public school rooms?

There isn’t one, at least there’s nothing called a philosophy.

However, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has a vision embedded in its Strategic Priorities:

The TEA works to improve outcomes for all public school students in the state by providing leadership, guidance, and support to school systems, working towards the vision that every child in Texas is an independent thinker and graduates prepared for success in college, a career, or the military, and as an engaged, productive citizen. To achieve this vision for public education in Texas, the Agency has outlined specific strategic priorities to guide and focus our work on behalf of the more than five million school children in our State.

The vision for Texas’s students is commendable: high school graduates who are independent thinkers, prepared for success in college, career, or military, and citizenship. In a public school setting, it may be the best that can be proclaimed.

But is there more to life than what the above vision implies?

Yes.

“Why am I here?”

“What is my purpose?”

“Is there something or nothing after this life?”

There are many life questions that go well beyond TEA’s vision that are never formally addressed in Texas’s public classrooms.

One might argue that these questions and their like are, and legally should be, off limits in Texas public schools.

Fine.

In this writing, there is no problem with that assertion, but that’s not the point.

The point is that there are implications. What are they?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beauty In The World: Dragonfly

Dragonfly (3.0) Midlo Backyard Aug 16, 2017 copy copy

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