Our Father, who art in heaven . . .blah. . .blah. . .blah. . .
Thy Kingdom come . . .blah . . .blah . . .blah . . .
For God so loved the world . . .blah . . . blah . . . blah . . .
I believe in God the Father, maker of heaven and . . .blah . . .blah . . .blah
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your . . blah . . .blah . . . blah..
Prayers. Promises. Principles.
From God’s word.
We rattle them off from memory like the pledge of allegiance.
By rote. We can quote them in our sleep. We mumble them in unison in church.
- Words we call up at will. But not in His will.
- Hollow but not hollowed.
- From memory. Not from meditation.
Some sacred, familiar words from God’s Word, in my opinion, have become trite. Chants. Ineffectual. Ritualistic, not responsive. Religious rhetoric. For some church goers saying them privately or corporately somehow satisfies a shallow sense of “religious” requirement or denominational dogma. We utter the Lord’s Prayer and walk away telling ourselves we’ve prayed. We tell ourselves we’ve met God’s expectations of us. We’re good to go for another day, (or week if we only pray these wonderful words in church).
There’s a big difference between “saying” the Lord’s prayer and “praying” in the manner of the Lord’s prayer. Jesus didn’t teach his disciples to pray the Lord’s prayer. Depending on which version of Scripture you use, Jesus taught his disciples to pray “in this manner”, or “pray this way”. Or, “This, then, is how you should pray”.
How. Not what.