One of my all-time favorite books opens with, “Presumed familiarity has led to unfamiliarity, unfamiliarity has led to contempt, and contempt has led to profound ignorance.”
I can definitely relate. We think we’ve mastered a thing, before even knowing it fully, and end up never having known it to start. It becomes worthless to us and snubbed because of its irrelevance to our real lives and whatever it had potential to offer, is never actually realized.
Could this have happened to the prayer Jesus taught His students, better known as The Lord’s Prayer? Have those five verses affected our lives in meaningful ways, or has our presumed familiarity led us to miss something significant?
Explore with me from Matthew 6:9-13…
To our spiritual parent and source of life who wants to lavish us with nurturing love. One who’s always watchful, cheering us on and desiring our greatest good and joy to be fulfilled. And on who’s attentive, understanding, and compassionate when we’ve fallen short of it.
You fill every space around me. You don’t live way past the sun, moon, and stars, but You’re right here next to me, now and all day long, wherever I go.
Hallowed be Your Name
You have the only name that contains the Power, Authority and Love to sustain the universe and all life within it. We honor your blessed name.
Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven
Your kingdom is full of love and right relatedness. Everyone who lives there is happy and full of joy because they know you completely. Your kingdom doesn’t rule using violence, power and fear like ours. But instead it’s governed by peace and self-sacrificial other-oriented love. In your presence there is safety and security. Let that governance come. Let the life of your kingdom be felt as you empower us to freely give what we’ve freely received. Let heaven and earth intersect in every place we go today.
Give us this day our daily bread
We trust you’ll provide what we need today. We trust Your grace to accomplish what we cannot in our own strength. In everything, from food to brain function, we recognize You as the source of today’s provision.
And Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors
Thank you that when we mess up, you don’t mock or patronize. You don’t say “I told you so” or remind us of our wrong to shame and hurt us. No, your kind of forgiveness dismantles the grip of guilt and shame and liberates us to accept Your invitation to a wholesome relationship with You.
As we reflect on just how beautiful and life changing Your forgiveness is, let us follow that example if wronged by others today.
And do not bring us into the time of trial
Give us the grace to see and resist things that will be tempting today. Things that could trigger our minds to go where they should not go. Things that will present choices that will have painful and maybe deadly consequences. Be our guide, help us follow your promptings to avoid, or resist, the time of trial.
But rescue us from the evil one…
Yes. We have an enemy indeed. One who lives to manipulate and destroy all that is good starting with us as we bear Your Divine Image. One that lives to rob our minds and lives of peace, and to stir up strife and chaos in the human community.
So what miracle it is that we survive each day. That a person lives 10, 70, or 100 years in a body that is incomprehensibly complex and frail. You have both sustained all the intricacies that let us wake up each day protecting us from tragic ends, and you’ve rescued us from dangers we don’t even know of. Dangers that the enemy schemed so that fruits of chaos, destruction and death could be unleashed. You rescued us before. Do it again today.
So be it – Amen
Could this be closer to what the early disciples thought as they prayed what Jesus taught? Would this type of interacting and thinking with God be relevant to their real lives? Could there be meaningful change in a person and in their circles if this framed the narrative of reality that played in their mind?
Thank God with me for the available and accessible treasure of His story and our inclusion in it. May our hearts be like fertile soil for planting, watering, and growing, and may we stay clear of the dangers that presumed familiarity can lead to.
Written by Eloy Gonzalez, BHITC’s Manager of Ministry Engagement. To connect with Eloy, send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.