Sunday, April 05, 2009
Now this I can relate to, and really reminds me to THINK about what I am praying to God...
"Our Father, who art in heaven..."
"Don't interrupt me, I am praying."
"But you called me."
"Called you? I didn't call you, I'm praying... Our Father, who art in Heaven..."
"There, you did it again."
"But I didn't mean anything by it. I was just saying my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord's prayer. It makes me feel good, kind of like getting a duty done."
"All right, go on."
"Hallowed be thy name..."
"Hold it, what do you mean by that?"
"By 'hallowed be thy name'?"
"It means... it means... good grief! I don't know what it means. How should I know? It's just part of the prayer. By the way, what does it mean?"
"It means, honored... holy... wonderful."
"Hey, that makes sense. I never thought about what 'hallowed' meant before. They kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
"Do you really mean that?"
"Sure, why not?"
"What are you doing about it?"
"Doing? Nothing, I guess! I just think that it would be kind of neat if you could get control of everything down here like you have up there."
"Have I got control of you?"
"Well, I go to church."
"That's not what I asked you. What about your bad temper? You've got a real problem there, you know. And there's the way you spend your money... all on yourself. And what about the kind of books you read?"
"Stop picking on me!" I'm just as good as some of the other people at the church."
"Excuse me. I thought that you were praying for my will to be done. If that is to happen, it will have to start with the ones who are praying for it... like You for example..."
"Oh all right... I guess I do have a few hang-ups. Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others."
"So could I"
"I haven't thought about it very much until now, but I really would like to cut out some of those things. I would like to... you know... be really free."
"Good... now we're getting somewhere! We'll work together, you and I. Some victories can be truly won... I am proud of you."
"Look, Lord, I need to finish up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does. Give us this day our daily bread."
"You need to cut out some of the bread. You are over weight as it is."
"Hey wait a minute! What is this... 'Criticize me day?' Here I was doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden, you break in and remind me of all of my hang-ups."
"Praying is a dangerous thing. You could wind up changed, you know. That's what I'm trying to get across to you. You called me, and here I am. It's too late to stop now. Keep praying. I'm interested in the next part of your prayer... (pause). Well, go on."
"I'm scared to."
"Scared? Of what?"
"I know what You'll say."
"Try me and see."
"Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us."
"What about Ann?"
"See? I knew it! I knew you would bring her up! Why Lord? She told lies about me, and spread stories about my family. She never paid back the debt she owes me. I've sworn to get even with her!"
"But what about your prayer?"
"I didn't mean it."
"Well, at least you are honest. But it's not much fun carrying that load of bitterness around inside you, is it?"
"No, but I'll feel better as soon as I get even. Boy, I've got some plans for that neighbor. She will wish that she never moved in this neighborhood."
"You won't feel any better. You will feel worse. Revenge isn't sweet. Think of how unhappy you already are." But I can change all that."
"You can? How?"
"Forgive Ann. Then I'll forgive you. Then all the hate and sin will be Ann's problem, not yours. You will have settled your heart."
"Oh, you are right. You always are. And more than I want to revenge Ann, I want to be right with you... (pause)... (sigh)... Alright, Alright! I forgive her! Help her to find the right road in life, Lord. She is bound to be awfully miserable now that I think about it. Anybody who goes around doing the things she does to others has to be out of it. Someway, someday, somehow, show her the right way, Lord."
"There now! Wonderful! How do you feel?"
"hmmmmmmm... well, not bad. Not bad at all, in fact, I feel pretty great! You know, I don't think I have to go to bed uptight tonight for the first time in a long time, since I can remember. Maybe I won't be so tired from now on, because I'm getting enough rest."
"You're not through with your prayer. Go on."
"Oh all alright. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
"Good! Good! I'll do that. Just don't put yourself in a place where you can be tempted."
"What do you mean by that?"
"Don't turn on the TV when you know that you have laundry needs to be done and the house needs to be picked up. Also, about the time you spend having coffee with your friends... if you can't influence the conversation to positive things, perhaps you should re-think the value of those friendships. Another thing, your neighbors and friends should not be your standard for 'keeping up with' And please don't use me as an escape hatch."
"I don't understand that last part."
"Sure you do. You have done it a lot of times. You get caught in a bad situation. You get in trouble and then you come running to me. 'Lord, help me out of this, and I will never do it again.' You remember some of those bargains you made with me?"
"Yes, and I am ashamed, Lord. I really am."
"Which bargain are you remembering?"
Well, there was that time, when Bill was gone and the kids and I were home alone. The wind was blowing so hard I thought the roof would go any minute and the tornado warnings were out. I remember praying, 'Oh God, if you spare us, I'll never skip my devotions again.'"
"I protected you, but you didn't keep your promise, did you?"
"I am sorry, Lord. I really am. Up until now, I thought if I just prayed the Lord's prayer everyday, then I could do what I liked. I didn't expect anything to happen like it did."
"Go ahead, finish your prayer."
For thine is the kingdom, and the glory forever. Amen."
"Do you know what would bring me glory? What would really make me happy?"
"No, but I would like to know. I now want to please you. I can see what a mess I've made of my life. And I can see how great it would be to really be one of your followers."
"You just answered the question."
"Yes, the thing that would bring me glory is to have people like you, who truly love me. And I see that happening between us. Now that some old sins are exposed and out of the way, well, there is no telling what we can do together."
"Lord, let's see what we can make out of me."
"Yes, let's see."