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Prayer, part 2

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:9–10

Watch Week Two, Day Two

When Adam and Eve sinned, they lost connection with God and sent the whole blessed creation into a curse-fueled spin. To fight this ruin we sometimes hold tight to control. The long to-do lists (that never completely get checked); the exalted expectations for a family vacation (gone wrong from the start when the baby pukes or the engine sputters); the Pinterest boards full of what-ifs and somedays (though we fear they’re will-nots and nevers); and the blinding rage when traffic causes us to miss a meeting that promised to balance the whole tilting world on its paper-thin shoulders. The open secret seems hard to swallow: the more we try to reverse the curse, the harder we seem to fall.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Curse

It’s easy to focus on our own accomplishments and forget about God. Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar had seen God deliver Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace. Yet when Nebuchadnezzar surveyed his kingdom, he still declared himself ruler of all that he saw. Immediately a voice from heaven cursed him with insanity because of his impudence. Nebuchadnezzar lost his mind and became like a wild beast in the field. But at the end of seven years he lifted his eyes to heaven and his sanity returned (Daniel 4).

The lesson stings: we are only in our right minds when we acknowledge that God is God and we are not. Prayer reminds us that only One Lord is sovereign, and His name isn’t spelled with our initials. “I lift up my eyes . . . Where does my help come from?” asked the psalmist. “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1).

Lifting Our eyes

In the 1600s a French soldier named Nicholas lifted his eyes to a leafless tree in winter and realized that it awaited only the changing season for God to bring it bursting into bud. The realization of God’s good sovereignty so overwhelmed him that he vowed to become a monk. In a monastery in Paris he changed his name to Brother Lawrence. It was this Lawrence whose simple practice of acknowledging God in the humdrum activities of life—peeling potatoes, washing dishes, feeding the chickens—revolutionized the way he thought about prayer. He could “practice the Presence of God” all the time in the everyday activities of life. “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God,” said Brother Lawrence what became the beloved classic work, The Practice of the Presence of God. “Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.”

All of life is holy. Next time you find yourself up to the elbows in a sudsy sink, breathe out, “Lord, wash my heart clean each day the same way I scrub these dishes.” Or if you’re stuck in traffic, instead of drumming your fingers on the steering wheel or glancing at your watch, look around at the other vehicles and whisper a prayer for your hapless fellow travelers. Waking or sleeping, peeling potatoes or running a meeting, flying high or stalled in the break-down lane with a flat, use prayer to turn every moment into a walk in the garden with God.

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Daily Question

What are some routine moments during your day when you can “lift your eyes” and connect with God through prayer?

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Comments (8)

I need to be more intentional with God in routine moments such as saying grace before a meal, thanking him for waking up another beautiful day, my health, and my loved ones. In traffic, doing dishes, laundry, cleaning the bathroom, there are all opportunities to talk with God. A conversation with God doesn’t have to be formal. He is my Father and my friend.

Walk in the garden with God in a stalled car or heavy traffic, when I’m in to much pain to move, when I’m on hold for 2 hours. Lots of that lately. Many stalled moments lately. I need to reframe to walks in the garden.

Reasa
When I am holding my great grandbabies, family time , with my sisters in CHRIST in Bible Study
During church with all my brothers and sisters
At home alone
At work
Driving in traffic
In the waiting for HIS perfect timing in all and for all

When I am driving to work and see another of his sunrises on display. On my way to a management meeting I often ask Holy Spirit to provide the answers I am unable too, or to guide my hands on the tools when I am building.

I also like to pray for the safety of my crew each day and that anything that is displeasing to God in their/my personality is bound by Christ.

Early in the morning, that little break I get or need early in the day, my lunch and on all throughout the day when I need more then me more then I can control, the deep breaths through out the day-before each meal and before I go to bed. Needing or talking to him all day

Pray as I wake up and lay down, as the patience and irritability rises, take a breath and remember that every moment is from the Lord, tidying up without huffing and puffing, the time it takes for laundry to be with my eyes towards heaven, to take up the reminders to pray when I see prayer requests on social media instead of scrolling into the next post, to enjoy and seek the small still silence and solitude they brings intimacy…

– while at a stop light, pray for those around me
– when waiting in a grocery store line, pray for the people around me
– instead of waking up and going on my phone immediately, say a prayer giving thanks for the new day God has blessed me with
– prayer before each meal
– setting aside an hour a day to read the word and get to know and be like my Father in heaven

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