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If you have kids or grandkids or employees or maybe even pets, you likely have thought about saying something you think is really important, you shared that seemingly vital message, and then you wonder, did they even care?

Did that make any difference?

Regularly, I preach a sermon and I wonder…

“Did anyone benefit from that?”

Now, I don’t need people to send me encouraging words…or worse, tell me,

“Actually, no.  No one benefitted from that…”

But I do wonder this sometimes.

Back in April, when we did our prayer series, I encouraged everyone to simply pray, “God…” then say whatever it is you are thinking, you are worried about, you hope for, you are struggling with.  Whatever comes to mind, lift it to God.  This is a conversation, so let’s treat it that way.

I wasn’t sure if that was helpful, then I was visiting with a person from the Chapel the very next day and they said that they had had the most powerful prayer time they had ever had simply because I gave them that prompt.

Most of us like the idea of prayer, but if we are honest, we don’t really know how to start.  Sometimes we need a little prompt.

When I was a kid I had to take swimming lessons.  Mr. Titus was my instructors name.  He was not exactly the warmest or friendliest guy you ever met.  And in my memory the water was always freezing.

But despite the cold water and his cold disposition, he got the job done.

I remember dreading going to swim lessons as a kid.  I hated having to learn this stuff.

But you know what I did want?

I wanted to know how to swim.

We’d be at the edge of the pool and Mr. Titus would be a little ways away.  We were supposed to swim to him.  As we’d get closer, he’d back up.  As we’d get closer he’d keep backing up.  He would do this until two things had happened.

We knew how to swim.

We had the confidence to swim.  

Starting with a simple prompt like, “God…” is us jumping in the pool.

This past Sunday we talked through the prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray.  We call it the Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father.  It is THE most well known prayer around the world, it is the calling card for those of us that follow Jesus.  It is rooted in and based off of Hebrew prayers that would be shared in the synagogue and Jesus has brought some intimacy to it and made it personal.  We looked at how the first half of the prayer is framing up who God is…

Your Name

Your Kingdom

Your Will

Then it frames our needs…

Give Us

Forgive Us

Lead Us

The hinge where it switches is the line,

On Earth As It Is In Heaven.

The entire Sermon on the Mount is teaching us what it looks like to live out the Kingdom of God on Earth as it is in Heaven.

So I challenged everyone to pray this same prayer that Jesus prayed and taught us to pray 3 times a day, like the early church did.  It isn’t some secret code or incantation or spell, it is getting the words of our mouths inline with the creator of our mouths.

It helps us to align the meditations of our hearts with the one who dwells in our hearts.

Praying this prayer slowly and regularly, if we so choose, will lead us into deeper water.

It will help us to live out the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven.

I do wonder, after Jesus taught them this, did he wonder if anyone cared, if anyone was listening or did it benefit anyone?

2000 years later, we are still praying that same prayer.  Around the world, that is one of the ways we recognize that Jesus is our collective Rabbi, Savior, and Friend.  Those who pray this prayer are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

So apparently we should care, it does matter, and it doesn’t just benefit us, it benefits the world.

But praying this well know prayer daily may start off as something we don’t really want to do, but it will do two things.

Teach us to pray.

Give us confidence to pray.  

There is a famous line,

“Everybody wants a revolution. Nobody wants to do the dishes.”

Sometimes, doing something extraordinary, starts with quiet mundane seemingly unrewarded work.

When Sarah and I were first living in Dallas, we lived in an apartment with no dish washer.  We had to hand wash everything.  We lived there for 7 years, had our two boys there, and hosted countless events.  We spent so much time washing dishes.  I hated it at first…and I am grateful now to have a dishwasher, but washing dishes forced us to be in one place for a decent amount of time at least 3 times a day.

Our little sink looked out a window.  So we started to get in the habit of writing prayers on that window.  Things we wanted to lift up, prayer requests that we were dwelling on, people, situations, and more that we wanted to see God move in powerful ways.

Prayer may seem like a task, but it is an opportunity to commune with the divine.  It is an opportunity that we all have all the time.

You may want to do something big or influential or revolutionary…how about we start with just doing daily prayer.

Let’s start with praying the Lord’s Prayer and see where that takes us.

Karl Barth once said, “To clasp hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.”

This isn’t the only prayer we should pray, but it is a great framework and a great jumping off point.

For those of you who don’t know or love the classic King James Version…as my friend says, “the version that Jesus and the disciples carried with them”,

I’ve included a slightly more modern version below.

So you know, I wouldn’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do, so I am praying this everyday, 3 times a day.

Jump in.  The waters fine.

Our Father who is in the heavens,
let Your name be known as holy.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts as we forgive those who owe us something.

Lead us not towards temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever, amen.

I hope you will continue to practice this rhythm of prayer beyond this week.  We will continue in the journey through the Sermon on the Mount this Sunday taking a look at fasting.

We have a few things this week.

Bible Studies are back.

Our Bible Study Event, co-ed study kicks off this Wednesday in the book of James led by me and Sarah together.  I hope you can join us for this at 9am.

Young Adult Bible Study kick back off this Thursday at 8am at The Chapel.  We’ll be in Exodus.

Both of these studies will run for two weeks, then take a break for 4th of July.  Then meet for two weeks again.

I look forward to being with you tomorrow or Thursday and/or Sunday.  Let us know if you need anything.