God is so good and so loving. Lately, He's been telling me to work on love and to work on truth.
By truth, He's been saying to stick as close to the Bible way of doing things as possible. For instance, the Bible says we should call for the elders of the church if we're sick. Not the elder, not the pastor, not the person who gave the sermon that particular day. There is no scripture that says the person who did the sermon that day is anointed to pray for the sick. God wants things done the way He says, and the traditions of men have made the word of God to no effect. If God says he will heal by more than one - possibly to not allow pride in one person or to not allow the congregation to start trusting in one person-- then we should go with the direction of two by two or at least not one person. I always feel like I'm being such a pill when I stick with the Bible and other folks are falling into cultural/traditional modes but I really feel as if God is saying to follow His direction period.
So Ill be teaching on the Lord's Prayer tomorrow, i think. And the idea that it is OUR father, that communal love for the others in God's family is very important. There is no way one can say the Lord's prayer truthfully and say it for one's self alone. There are too many "our" and "us" in that prayer. Even if we live a sinful life, love covers a multitude of sins and love is the more excellent way.
Also, it really p*sses me off that my church has this habit of starting prayers with "First, Father, I want to ask you to forgive me of all my sins." I don't mind folks doing this because we do sin but it's become such a pattern, and I find myself thinking that the whole notion of God as Father is being lost in this God-is-judge-and-is-judging-me shuffle. So, I'll begin with God as OUR and God as FATHER. Will see how this works out.
Been trying to be more loving in my heart. God has been telling me to pray for others more than for myself, and he really showed me in Isaiah 58 how so much of our so-called spirituality is about us, us, us and our needs. Miracles won't happen if we don't forget ourselves. I don't think he minds us praying for ourselves but as Christians, the idea of loving our brothers communally and praying for them everyday is the way to go.
Also, I've been trying to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep. This is a real strengthening of the soul because one hears bad stuff on the news everyday and one never really prays for these victims more than a minute, if that. Or one cannot truly pray for some folks because one really has a wound in one's heart -- caused by said person. So hard. But it's so necessary to live a life of praying for others. Not just a life of prayer but of praying for others.