From time to time, the words of Jesus as He taught people to pray come to mind as I am praying.
Each line is a beautiful example and demonstration of faith. As trials of life come in varying degrees of heat and intensity, the pattern Jesus set for effective prayer has been and continues to be of great value in helping me learn to:
1. Acknowledge God in His station high above my own where He is able to see everything especially what I can't see.
"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name."
2. Remember that God wants what's best for me. And if I could see what He sees, I'd want what He wants for me too. By aligning with His will, I'm opening myself up for the best of the best solution(s) to my challenges.
"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
3. Trust in the provident hand of the Lord to send forth manna from His heavens. I must prepare all I can in obedience to His commands. But then I must not put my trust in the fruits of my earthly labors, the arm of my flesh. All my earthly supply may be taken from me in an instant. However, the shelves in the heavenly storehouse are never bare.
"Give us this day our daily bread."
3. Shift to a framework of gratitude. My debts to Christ are infinitely greater that what anyone else might owe me. Instead of focusing on what I don't have or all the supposed wrongs others may have committed against me, I see that I am lost without Him and will gladly forgive the "mote" or small-sized claim I have against others in exchange for Christ looking past the "beam" of my own eye.
"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
4. Put on the whole armor, ready for battle each day. The war between good and evil rages on. The way of safety is prepared if I will but pray for it and work for it.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
5. Keep my eye single to His glory. This will help me avoid the ever-present pitfalls of pride and judgment that would otherwise blind me and ensnare me.
"For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen."
God is real. He has blessed me by His grace beyond anything of personal merit. He continues to bless and lift Talitha and our whole family. His goodness is limitless and His capacity and power to rescue and save are endless.