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THE LORDS PRAYER
Matthew 6:9-13 - Luke 11:2-4
The prayer below too often illistrates our failure in earnest prayer... it is rather
This is in two
parts-- the prayer (in small type)
and GOD (in Capital Bold type) in response.
Our Father Who Art In Heaven.
Don't interrupt me. I'm
BUT -- YOU CALLED ME!
Called you? No, I didn't call
you. I'm praying.
Our Father who art in heaven.
THERE -- YOU DID IT AGAIN
CALLED ME. YOU SAID, "OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN"
WELL, HERE I AM. WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND?
But I didn't mean anything by
it. I was, you know, just saying
my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord's Prayer. It
makes me feel good, kind of like fulfilling a duty.
WELL, ALL RIGHT. GO ON.
Okay, Hallowed be Thy name...
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE. 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 in the world should I know? It's just a
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. Thanks. Thy 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
Doing? Why, nothing, I guess. I just
think it would be kind of neat if you got control of everything down here like
up there. We're kinda in a mess down here you know.
YES, I KNOW; BUT, HAVE I
GOT CONTROL OF YOU?
Well, I go to church.
THAT ISN'T WHAT I ASKED YOU. WHAT ABOUT YOUR BAD TEMPER?
YOU'VE REALLY GOT A PROBLEM THERE, YOU KNOW. AND THEN THERE'S THE WAY YOU SPEND
MONEY --ALL ON YOURSELF. AND WHAT ABOUT THE KIND OF
BOOKS YOU READ?
Now hold on just a minute! Stop
picking on me! I'm just as good as some of the rest of those people at church!
EXCUSE ME. I THOUGHT 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 some 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
WE'LL WORK TOGETHER -- YOU AND ME. I'M PROUD OF YOU.
Look, Lord, if you don't mind,
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 THE BREAD. YOU'RE OVERWEIGHT
AS IT IS.
Hey, wait a minute! What is
this? Here I was doing my religious
duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all
PRAYING IS A DANGEROUS THING. YOU JUST MIGHT GET
WHAT YOU ASK FOR. REMEMBER, YOU CALLED ME -- AND HERE I
AM. IT'S TOO LATE TO STOP NOW. KEEP PRAYING.
WELL, GO ON.
I'm scared to.
SCARED? OF WHAT?
I know what you'll say.
Forgive us our sins, as we
forgive those who sin against us.
WHAT ABOUT LINDA?
See? I knew it! I knew you
would bring her up! Why, Lord, she's told lies about me, spread false stories. She
never paid back the money she owes me. I've sworn to never forget and let her interfere with my happiness!
BUT -- YOUR PRAYER -- WHAT ABOUT YOUR PRAYER?
I didn't -- mean it.
WELL, AT LEAST YOU'RE
HONEST. BUT, IT'S QUITE A
LOAD CARRYING AROUND ALL THAT BITTERNESS AND RESENTMENT
Yes, but I'll feel better as
soon as I get a reconning with her.
Boy, have I got some plans for her, I'll show the world what an awful liar she is. She'll wish she had
never said those nasty things about me.
NO, YOU WON'T FEEL ANY
BETTER. YOU'LL FEEL WORSE.
REVENGE ISN'T SWEET. YOU KNOW HOW UNHAPPY YOU
ARE -- WELL, I CAN CHANGE THAT.
You can? How?
FORGIVE LINDA, THEN, I'LL
FORGIVE YOU; AND THE
HATE AND SIN WILL BE LINDA'S PROBLEM -- NOT YOURS. YOU
WILL HAVE SETTLED THE PROBLEM AS FAR AS YOU
Oh, you know, you're right.
You always are. And more than I want revenge, I want to be right with You...,
All right...all right...I forgive her.
THERE NOW! WONDERFUL! HOW DO YOU FEEL?
Hmmmm. Well, not bad. Not bad at
all! In fact, I feel pretty great! You know, I don't think I'll go to bed
I haven't been getting much rest, you know.
YEAH, I KNOW. BUT, YOU'RE
NOT THROUGH WITH YOUR PRAYER ARE YOU? GO ON.
Oh, all right. 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?
YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.
Yeah. I know.
OKAY. GO AHEAD. FINISH YOUR
For Thine is the kingdom, and
the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD
BRING ME GLORY.......
WHAT WOULD REALLY MAKE ME HAPPY?
No, but I'd like to know. I
want to please you now. I've really made a mess of things. I want to truly
follow you. I can see now how great that would be. So, tell me ...
how do I make you happy?
YOU JUST DID
Satan called a worldwide
convention of demons. In his opening address he said, "We can't keep Christians
from going to church. We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing
the truth. We can't even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with
their savior. Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is
broken. So let them go to their churches; let them have their covered dish
dinners, BUT steal their time, so they don't have time to develop a relationship
with Jesus Christ.."
"This is what I want you
to do," said the devil: "Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and
maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!" "How shall we do this?"
his demons shouted. "Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent
innumerable schemes to occupy their minds," he answered. Tempt them to spend,
spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work for
long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so
they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their
children. As their families fragment, soon, their homes will offer no escape
from the pressures of work!
minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the
radio or cassette player whenever they drive. To keep the TV, VCR, CDs, DVD's
and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and
restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their
minds and break that union with Christ. Fill the coffee tables with magazines
and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their
driving moments with billboards.
Flood their mailboxes
with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, guaranteed credit cards, and
every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and
false hopes.. Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so their
husbands will believe that outward beauty is what's important, and they'll
become dissatisfied with their wives. Keep those skinny, beautiful models on the
magazines to grab the attention of their young sons at a very early age. Keep
the wives too tired to love their husbands at night. Give them headaches too! If
they don't give their husbands the love they need, they will begin to look
elsewhere. That will fragment their families quickly!
Give them Santa Claus to
distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas. Give
them an Easter bunny so they won't talk about his resurrection and power over
sin and death. Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return
from their recreation exhausted. Keep them too busy to go out in nature and
reflect on God's creation. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays,
concerts, and movies instead.
Keep them busy, busy,
busy! And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and
small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences. Crowd their lives with
so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Jesus. Soon they will
be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the
good of the cause."
"It will work!" "It will
work!" the demons screamed. It was quite a plan! The demons went eagerly to
their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busier and more rushed,
going here and there, having little time for their God or their families, having
no time to tell others about the power of Jesus to change lives.
I guess the question is,
has the devil been successful in his schemes? You be the judge!!!!!
- from Deanna
THE FILING ROOM
In that place between wakefulness and
dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features
except for the one wall covered with small index files. They were like the
ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical
order. But these files that stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly
endless in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the
wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I
have liked." I opened it and began to flip through the cards. I quickly shut
it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one. Then
without being told, I knew exactly where I was.
room with its small files was a crude catalogue system for my life. Here
were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my
memory couldn't match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror,
stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their
content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and
regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was
A file named
"Friends" was next to the one marked "Friends I Have Betrayed." The titles
ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read," "Lies I
Have Told," "Comfort I Have Given," "Jokes I Have Laughed At." Some were
almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I Have Done In My Anger,"
"Things I Have Yelled at My Brothers," "Things I Have Muttered Under My
Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents.
were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was
overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be
possible that I had the time in my life to actually have thought or done
what was on each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card
confirmed the truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed
with my signature.
When I pulled
out the file marked "TV Shows I Have Watched," I realized the files grew to
contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or
three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so
much by the quality of shows but more by the vast amount of time I knew that
file represented. When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a
chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing
to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content.
I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded. An animal rage
broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: "No one must ever see these
cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In insane
frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it
and burn those cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on
the floor, I couldn't dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled
out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.
Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my
forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self pitying sigh. And then I
saw it..The title bore "People I have Shared the Gospel With." The handle
was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on the
handle and a small box not more than three inches fell into my hands. I
could count the cards it contained on one hand. Then the tears came. I began
to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt. They started in my stomach and shook
through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the
overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my
tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it
up and hide the key.
But then as I
pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone
but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the
cards. I couldn't bear to look at His face. I saw a sorrow deeper than my
own. He seemed to go intuitively to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read
every one? Finally, He turned and looked at me from across the room. He
looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger
me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again.
He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things.
But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me.
Then He got up
and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He
took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each
card. "No!" I shouted, rushing to Him. All I could say was "No, no," as I
pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on those cards. But there
it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered
mine. It was written with His blood. He gently took the card back. He smiled
a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand
how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close
the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder
and said, "It is finished." I stood up and He led me out of the room. There
was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.......
"Tomorrow morning," the surgeon began, "I'll open
up your heart..."
"You'll find Jesus there," the boy interrupted.
The surgeon looked up, annoyed "I'll cut your
heart open," he continued, to see how much damage has been done..."
"But when you open up my heart, you'll find Jesus
in there," said the boy.
The surgeon looked to the parents, who sat
quietly. "When I see how much damage has been done, I'll sew your heart and
chest back up, and I'll plan what to do next."
"But you'll find Jesus in my heart. The Bible
says He lives there. The hymns all say He lives there. You'll find Him in my
The surgeon had had enough. "I'll tell you what
I'll find in your heart. I'll find damaged muscle, low bloodsupply, and weakened
vessels. And I'll find out if I can make you well."
"You'll find Jesus there too. He lives there."
The surgeon left.
The surgeon sat in his
office, recording his notes from the surgery, "...damaged aorta, damaged
pulmonary vein, widespread muscle degeneration. No hope for transplant, no hope
for cure. Therapy: painkillers and bed rest. Prognosis:, "
here he paused, "death within one year." He
stopped the recorder, but there was more to be said. "Why?" he asked aloud."Why
did You do this? You've put him here; You've put him in this pain; and You've
cursed him to an early death. Why?"
The Lord answered and said, "The boy, My lamb,
was not meant for your flock for long, for he is a part of My flock, and will
forever be. Here, in My flock, he will feel no pain, and will be comforted as
you cannot imagine. His parents will one day join him here, and they will know
peace, and My flock will continue to grow."
The surgeon's tears were hot, but his anger was
hotter. "You created that boy, and You created that heart. He'll be dead in
months. Why?" The Lord answered, "The boy, My lamb, shall return to My flock,
for He has done his duty: I did not put My lamb with your flock to lose him, but
to retrieve another lost lamb."
The surgeon wept.
The surgeon sat beside
the boy's bed; the boy's parents sat across from him. The boy awoke and
whispered, "Did you cut open my heart?" "Yes," said the surgeon. "What did you
find?" asked the boy."
"I found Jesus there," said the surgeon.