Saturday, February 6, 2010

NSV Spiritual Formation Exercise 2.7.10-2.13.10

This exercise is to help you connect with God through prayer, specifically the Lord’s Prayer. Do this exercise at both the beginning and ending of your day. You may want to keep a journal of what you feel like God is speaking to you through this.

Matthew 6:5-13 (The Message)
When you come before God, don't turn that into a theatrical production. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?
6"Here's what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
7-13"The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They're full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don't fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.

Jesus teaches us in these verses that our prayer needs not be showy or boisterous but can be very simple and natural.
• Have you ever seen people making a big production out of their prayers?
• Have you ever felt intimidated that you couldn’t pray that way?
• Have you ever made a production of your own prayers before God, pretending to be something that you are not?

Find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted for a few minutes and pray the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 10:9-13) slowly thinking through what each verse means…
• What does it mean that God is your father in heaven?
• What would it look like for his kingdom to come in certain areas of your life on earth as it is in heaven?
• What are the needs in your life this day that you need God to provide for?
• For what do you need forgiveness? Who do you need to forgive?

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

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