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When You Pray (Week 2 Recap-September 12, 2023)


"Why do you have such little faith?”

Matthew 6:30


Have you ever noticed that Jesus is THE expert in asking questions? Asking someone a question is a powerful thing, as it requires the person to stop and reflect on the why of their doing. It is in these moments of reflection we begin to understand ourselves better, slowing down our fast pace of life to "just be". The message and ministry of Jesus as King begins in Matthew 4. Chapter after chapter you can read Jesus's sermons. He is teaching His disciples how to live, pointing out key areas.


“Jesus went up on the mountain side and sat down. His disciples gather around him and he began to teach them.” Matthew 5:1b-2


Picture this with me for a moment, Jesus standing among His disciples, teaching them how to live their lives. He is giving them truths that they need to understand and follow. His disciples were in Jesus’s presence, soaking up His wisdom. As we learned this past week, Jesus teaches about prayer. Our prayers are not to impress others but to spend time with God. Jesus tells us to get away from all distractions, our secret place where we can be alone with God. Prayer is personal and it is intimate. I am sure the disciples were wondering… “What do I say? or “What are the ‘right’ words to use in prayer?”. So Jesus taught them. The first half of the Lord’s prayer values and prioritizes God. This helps us to see everything else through His lens. The second half of this prayer is about us and others. Again, highlighting a framework for our prayers, to give us spiritual vision.


After the Lord’s prayer, Jesus teaches specifically on worry. Now let’s face it, we all tend to worry. It is easy for us to slip into moments or seasons of worrying. One of my favorite quotes that always have stuck with me is “Worry is like a rocking chair, it keeps you busy but gets you nowhere.” If you are anything like me, I have struggled not to get on the worry train. However, Jesus asks us to focus on His creation. Look at the birds or the lilies of the field, reminding us that if He takes great care of them how much more will He do for us? I think that it is important to point out there is a difference between worry and concern. Worry keeps you busy with unproductive thoughts, keeping you on a hampster wheel… getting you nowhere. While concern produces action. Action towards crying out to our heavenly Father; sharing our concerns and asking for His help.


The answer to “Why do you have such little faith” is worry. We worry because we don’t trust God. We worry because we feel out of control and we don’t have enough faith that God will “pull through’”. What is most astonishing is the disciples who walked hand and hand with Jesus worried too. They lacked faith even though they were with Jesus in the flesh. So there is no need to beat ourselves up if we tend to worry… but it does call us to reflect on our faith.


As believers of Jesus we all have faith. We need faith to believe in Him! However, did you know that faith is also a spiritual gift? “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.” 1 Corinthians 12:4 There are 9 gifts listed and one of them is FAITH! As God says “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously and He will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 In our moments of worry interrupt your thoughts by praying! Worry should be our personal alarm, alerting us it is time to pray! As you are praying, ask God for the gift of faith. He knows what you need and He is eager to give us things that are in His will. His will is what we find in scripture. Taking God’s words and praying it back to Him is praying in alignment to His will. So ask Him for an increase of faith, to believe and trust in Him. If you are unsure of what to pray next… redirect your thoughts back to the Lord’s prayer.


Dear Father, You are our good Father who reigns over all. Let your kingdom come as we partner with you on this earth. Give us what we need and forgive us when we fail. We will choose to forgive others because you have forgiven us. We will share the grace that you bestowed on us to those who don’t deserve it either. Protect us from the temptation of worry and rescue us from evil.


It is the powerful name of Jesus I pray…


XO,

K

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