a guest post by Brenda
i read a great little comment on the meaning of the word “closet” in matthew 6.5. that it actually means “pantry” and signifies that we go to a place of provision when we pray. i like that picture. (although, if i were to hole up in my pantry, i would be distracted by the food!!) anyway, my mind wandered a bit to a place of being a bit jealous of the scholarly types who know these things – i mean, i don’t know greek. i could google it. but who does that?!? i will most likely take your word for it. maybe i’m lazy, maybe i just don’t feel qualified. you know, i have researched and googled things like essential oils; how to kill stink bugs and deter spiders and mice; finding best prices for hotels, flights, rental cars; finding natural cures for all things and much, much more. but, i’ve not been so diligent with the scriptures.
so, what will i do? was i going to be satisfied with believing she was accurate? or was i going to question/challenge her interpretation by doing research for myself? what does “tameion” really mean? i began to dig. yes, i googled. and, interestingly enough, i do slightly disagree. i think it’s more accurately a secret room or an inner chamber or storeroom for valuables – the least likely place to attract public notice. (in my house, the pantry gets a lot of traffic!!) but, the point is, go to the place where you can best align your thoughts with God and what He knows. where you can honor and glorify Him without distraction or audience. i guess if that’s your pantry, go there!
so then the question became, “how should i pray?” and i’m drawn to the Lord’s prayer. i keep digging. and pondering. what does this prayer that i’ve prayed a thousand times really mean for me? if it’s a template and a general guideline to the manner and attitude required for prayer, then how can i embrace it as my own? i’m not much about formalities, but i have to believe that each line was significant – all of the “thee’s” and “thou’s” and quirky arrangements of words were intentional. i spent the next couple of hours in that scripture, bent on finding the truest meaning. line by line my eyes were opened. there’s even significance to the order: when i first glorify and honor his name and his kingdom of grace, my wants and perceived needs gain perspective. my laundry list dissipates. my “asks” are changed. i talk less and listen more.
i will pray this prayer with deeper appreciation after today’s journey. and more frequently. it really does nail it.
here’s my version:
“Abba Father in heaven:
honored and glorified,
praised and revered,
loved and admired,
holy and esteemed
is your name.
may your gospel be advanced and
your revealed will obeyed and loved
as it is so perfectly done in heaven.
give me, today, the strength and sustenance
to serve you with vigor and cheerfulness.
from my heart i forgive those
who have hurt me.
forgive me for falling short in my service
due you and my fellow-man.
i extend and receive mercy.
may no trial or temptation have power
over me or destroy me.
rather, enable me to resist and overcome
all assaults from the devil.
for you reign.
you have power and control over all.
i honor and praise you.
may your glory and goodness be displayed
in providing for my needs.
may your praise be celebrated by causing
your kingdom to spread through all the earth.
now, don’t take my word for it. dig into matthew 6.9-13. marinate in the words. then pray it.
with deep respect,