Scripture Reading for Tuesday, March 11th
Reading: Matthew 6:7-15
We have talked about fasting during the season of Lent. Another spiritual discipline that we focus on during this season is prayer. Just as we have learned how we should fast Jesus also speaks to us about how we should pray.
The scripture reading for today comes from inside of Jesus' sermon on the Mount, and he has just given an example of how not to pray; namely in an extremely visible, repetitious, and self-aggrandizing way. Just as the visible faster receives his reward here and now (rather than heaven) so to does Jesus admonish the self-important prayer.
Rather than long and drawn out, with tones of self-sacrifice and holier-than-thou speeches the prayer Jesus lists is short, simple, and gets at the heart of what it means to spend time with our Father. Certainly we must remember that God already knows what we need even before we come before him. Knowing that God has already heard and seen our needs lets us start by focusing first (and this is the Lenten theme here) who he is.
- Our Father reigns from heaven
- We are to honor him
- We ask how we can help as...
- He is building his Kingdom through..
- His perfect will...
- For the redemption of His creation
Certainly beyond this introduction Jesus reminds us that we can go to our Father with our needs, it is just that prayer is first about connecting with God and showing him our love and appreciation and seeking His will first. Remember the verse, "Seek first God's Kingdom, and all these things shall be added..."
Questions for Reflection or Journaling
- How do you usually pray when you pray?
- Is your prayer time focused on listening for God's will?
- What happens to our own needs as we put God's will first?
Father in Heaven; We honor your name above all others. We ask that you reveal to us your will for this moment in time so that we can have the opportunity to obey your good and saving command. As you remember us, give us what we need to live and honor you.