The Worship Quote of the Week for (12/11/2001):

Mechanical Prayer?
Again, I ask, "How can I properly align my prayer life with Godís purposes?"
Todayís WORSHIP QUOTE is from yet another recent study of the Lordís Prayer.
The author is Ken Hemphill.


MECHANICAL PRAYER?
For years I prayed the Lordís Prayer in a mechanical fashion, paying little
attention to what I was actually saying.

o I would pray, "Hallowed by Your name," as if I were giving God my
permission for His name to be declared holy.
o I would pray, "Your kingdom come," as if I were giving God my OK for Him
to
perform His sovereign work.
o I would pray, "Your will be done, as if His will were some generic concept
totally disconnected from my own life.

But suddenly it dawned on me how naÔve and foolish my praying had been.

o Godís name is holy because God BY NATURE is holy.
o Godís kingdom will come whether I advance it or not.
o God can accomplish his will WITH me or WITHOUT me.

So then, what do these clauses from Jesusí prayer really mean?

I believe these three statements are best understood as personal COMMITMENTS
on our part to hallow Godís name in our lives, to participate in the spread
of His kingdom, and to become actively involved in doing His will. And the
phrase "on earth as it is in heaven" modifies all three. This carries the
meaning of TOTAL COMMITMENT. Itís similar to Paulís appeal for us to present
ourselves as "a living and holy sacrifice" to God (Romans 12:1). This is
normative Christian living and proper Christian praying.

óKen Hemphill, THE PRAYER OF JESUS: THE PROMISE AND POWER OF LIVING IN THE
LORDíS PRAYER, Nashville: Broadman & Hollman, 2001, p. 43. ISBN
0-8054-2567-5


[If you planning a Christmas Eve service with an observance of the Lordís
Supper, please take a look at Margaret Clarksonís powerful Communion hymn
"Gathered Round Your Table." It is beautiful and it only works for Christmas
Eve. You can find it at <>.]


Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky
www.carlstam.org
www.sbts.edu