10/18/20 – “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”

Posted on : Oct 16th, 2020 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service


As a child I learned to recite mealtime and bedtime prayers:

God is great.
God is good.
Let us thank Him for our food. Amen

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to Keep
If I should die before I wake
I Pray the Lord my soul to take…Amen

Ah yes, prayer was a hallmark of discipleship in our family home and extemporaneous prayers were common during our local church worship services in Indiana! And, yes, we prayed openly in public restaurants! I continue this spiritual discipline today, sometimes with words, other times with groans that cannot be understood except through the spirit of God.

This week, during our Prayer Meeting, I asked the question, “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” [I am not the originator nor genius of this great question.] In other words, why do you pray? Our focus during the worship service is on “The Lord’s Prayer” or the Prayer that Jesus gave his disciples to pray.

There are two versions of the Lord’s Prayer found in Luke 11:2-4 and Matthew 6:9-13. [NIV]. Both draw attention to God, God’s Kingdom, and human concerns.  I agree with the commentary of German Theologian Joachim Jeremias- “The prayer is best interpreted in an eschatological {relating to death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind} sense, for there is a tension between the future fulfillment and present experiences which anticipate that fulfillment.”

True holiness, in the Judaic tradition, includes the three pillars of Jewish Piety, almsgiving, prayer and fasting. This appears to be the pattern in the gospel of Matthew. The gospel of Luke differs in its focus on the act of praying as individual and corporate devotion and praying as John the Baptist taught his disciples to pray. You will notice that the doxologyFor Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever” is not included in our reading of the text.

Note: A bit of history here…. In the Teachings of the Twelve Disciples also known as the “Didache” – a manual on morals, worship and doctrine, you will find the doxology. When copying the scriptures, the Greek scribes would append the doxology onto the original Gospel text. Most biblical text omit the doxology, except for the official Catholic bibles including the Vulgate. This would make for a great bible study, don’t you think?

Is Prayer your STEERING WHEEL or your SPARE TIRE??????????????????????????

See you Sunday!

Pastor Janice

Luke 11:2-4

He said to them, “When you pray, say: “ ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’ ”


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