Our Father, who art in heaven??
Although I’d asked my discipleship group to read and submit to the Lord’s prayer for the past two weeks, I was struggling to do the same. Growing up, I recited the Lord’s prayer habitually and thoughtlessly, but never submissively. To submit or come under the authority of a prayer I could probably recite in a coma, has been harder than I thought.
Do I believe that a benevolent, omniscient Being (“Our Father”) dwells in an unseen, utopic place (“in heaven”)? I mean, of course I believe it – but when I wondered if I submitted to it deeply and without reservation, I wasn’t sure. If I really trusted God’s heavenly reign, would I have chewed holes in two nightguards last year? Would my mind continuously wander to fears about COVID mutations, my kids driving in the snow, and my retinol cream not working on my wrinkles?
Most of what we believe about God is abstract. We think we believe many things about Christ and the Bible, but they aren’t deep, heart beliefs if they don’t alter how we think, act, and speak. And unfortunately, most of us are content praying, reading Scripture, and having a faith that is
habitual, thoughtless, and never submissive.
How do we submit? For me, “coming under” words I’ve said a million times means reading them slowly, away from distractions, and asking if I believe them. It means reading the same fifty-two word Our Father repeatedly, asking God to show me something.
Submitting requires patience, practice, and perseverance.
Why bother submitting if it’s arduous, time-consuming and inefficient? I guess because I’m not sure that a habitual, thoughtless, submissive-less faith is really faith at all. And because I know God loves us too much to let us settle for complacency, abstract beliefs, and a world devoid of the hope that comes from trusting more deeply,
Our Father, who art in heaven.
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