If you’d like to join us in our journey reading all the way through the Bible this year, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be glad to email back a copy of the reading plan we are using.
I don’t know if you play an instrument, but even if not, you probably know every instrument needs to be tuned. Be it a bassoon, a recorder a french horn or a piano – every instrument needs tuning. Even drums need to be tuned believe it or not. And for stringed instruments like a guitar, getting all six strings tuned first to a single note like from a tuning fork or some other source – and then to each other to get them all working in harmony and in right relationship. Then, the music can be played and heard as it ought to be. But did you know our souls as instruments in the Master’s hands need to be tuned too? I’m Reid Ferguson and we’ll talk about that today on Through the Word in 2020.
We’re looking at 3 texts today: Esther 3–6; 1 Timothy 4:1–5 and Luke 11:1–13. And it is to the tuning activity of praying as Jesus taught us that strikes me afresh this morning.
No doubt you are aware that Jesus dealt with the topic of prayer in more than one place. The account in Luke is separate from the Sermon on the Mount in Matt. 6. Both address some key points almost identically. The Matthew passage being a bit more detailed. In fact, it fits neatly with my guitar simile. Jesus lays out the six strings our souls need to be re-tuned every day when He says: “Pray like this.”
1. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name: The need of Recognition and Reverence.
To begin the day recognizing who it is we pray to and will be about serving today: Your Father and Christ’s. Revel in that relationship. Let it sink in that Christ’s death has purchased this place for you. The Father will hear you as really as He will Jesus Himself. Take a moment to revere His glory.
Nothing more reveals the heart and mind of Jesus than this petition. And as His slaves – we are to be about His business – framed by His priorities. And this is HIS passion – that the universe would be restored to the place where every sentient being knows, and loves His Father even as He does.
2. Your kingdom come: Remembering that this life, this world so fraught with sin, sorrow, sickness and strife is so because we rebelled against His Lordship. And that only the return of Christ can set it to right. To cry out for that day – and to experience as much of that as possible even now through being submitted to His indwelling Spirit.
3. Your will be done: Submitting all of our requests to Him knowing His wisdom knows what is better for us than we do. Trusting He’ll answer best. And that we might be agents of service to Him as unquestioningly as the angels in heaven.
4. Give us this day: Remembering that our greatest need is Jesus, the Bread of Life broken once more to our souls – and to be completely satisfied in His provision. Remembering that all our needs are met in Him.
5. Forgive us: Acknowledging our sins so as not to become hardened to them; and receiving His grace which necessarily overflows to all those who have sinned against us with equal lavishness.
6. Lead us: We are not Jesus. We are too weak to face evil on our own. Keep us from thinking we are sufficient, when only Jesus is.
With those six strings re-tuned, you are now ready to be an instrument of praise to His glory wherever you go.
Not just to sing, but to be a “Hallelujah” chorus.
God willing, we’ll be back Monday.