On this Ash Wednesday, we encounter Jesus as he rebuked the Pharisees for their outward-only portrayal of righteousness. They did what they did to be noticed, to be viewed in the synagogues and on the streets, and cared little of their actual heart righteousness, the kind the Father seeks. The Father, however, sees in secret, and he rewards those who perform acts not to be seen by others but rather to please him. The Father sees what we do in secret, and he will reward us openly. In contrast to outward show, the Lord’s prayer provides the way in which we ought to pray: the prayer is neither repetition nor rote words, but reveals relationship and submission to God and his will.
The prayer that transcends mere repetitive words will always acknowledge the holiness of the Father. Above all else in prayer we must desire that his Kingdom come and that his will be done, whether it be in heaven or in earth. Ultimately, prayer seeks the honor and glory of God, whatever the issues, whatever the petition.
Holy Father, who is in heaven above, let your Kingdom come and let your will be done, whether it be in heaven or upon this earth. Amen.
“Whatever conclusion we reach, 1 Corinthians 14 surely speaks to us of the value and importance of spontaneous, verbal ministries of exhortation, comfort or admonition by congregational members (cf. 1 Thes. 4:18; 5:11, 14; Eph. 4:15). Such mutual ministry is often confined to the home group, or to times of personal interaction after church services. Why is it not also encouraged in the public gathering of the whole church? Many Christian traditions rightly emphasize the need for regular and systematic exposition of Scripture and the teaching of ‘sound doctrine’ by those gifted and appointed for this task (cf. 1 Tim. 4:6, 11, 13; 5:17; 2 Tim. 2:1–2, 14–15; 4:1–5; Tit. 1:9). If the balance of New Testament teaching is to be preserved, however, there should be some space for the informal contributions of members.”
~ David G. Peterson, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992. pp. 197.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Jesus Fulfills the Law, Matthew 5.13-20
Peterson, Engaging with God