Feb 1 concerning prayer
Our Father Who Art In Heaven.
[pause and hesitation] Our Father who art in Heaven.
Yes. You called?
You spoke to me. You know. You said,
"Our Father who art in Heaven"
Well, here I am. So, what's on your mind?
But I didn't expect you to answer. I mean, not like this.
I was, you know, just saying my morning prayers.
I always start my day by saying the Lord's Prayer.
It makes me feel good, kind of like fulfilling a duty.
A duty, huh? So do you think of speaking to me as a job or a task to be done?
Well, no. I don’t mean it like that.
Well, all right. Go on.
Okay, Hallowed be thy name. .
Wait a minute. What do you mean by that?
By "Hallowed be thy name"?
It means, it means… uh,
I’m not quite sure what it means. How should I know?
It's just a part of the prayer.
I learned it when I was five, you know. That’s a pretty complicated word for a five-year-old.
Yes, I remember when you learned it.
Ok, so, what does it mean?
It means honored, holy, separate from the ordinary, everyday stuff.
Well, 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?
So, what are you doing about it?
Doing? I thought that was your job.
Come on. Work with me here. We’re in this together, aren’t we?
Well, I’m not really doing anything in particular, I guess.
But I do think it would be kind of cool if you got control
of everything down here like you have up there.
We're kinda in a mess down here you know.
Yes, I do know; So, have I got control of you?
Well, sure. I mean, I go to church and I’m praying right now as a matter of fact.
What about all the other aspects of your life?
What do you mean?
Well we could start with your impatience with people?
You've really got a problem there, you know.
And then there's the way you spend your money --
all on yourself.
And what about that conversation you had last week with Sally?
Now wait a minute! Stop picking on me!
I'm just as good as some of the rest of those people at church!
I’m sorry. I thought you were the one praying,
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 issues.
Now that you mention it, I could probably work on a few things.
So could I, since you’ve asked me to. We can work on these things together, alright? When you’re trying, I’m right there with you.
You know, I haven't thought about it very much until now,
but I really would like to change some of those things.
I would like to, you know, be really free, be less worried,
less jealous, more patient with what other people do and how they think and feel.
Good. Now we're getting somewhere.
We'll work on all of that together – YOU and ME. I'm really pleased and 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 back on the bread. You’ve got a day’s worth and then some. You’ve been really cleaning out those grocery aisles.
Well, I’m just really busy. I hate going to the grocery store. So when I’m there, I stock up. And, this time of year, you never can tell when they’ll be a bad storm and we’ll be snowed in. I mean, that storm in New England was awful. Have you seen the pictures on the news?... Oh, I guess that’s kind of a silly question for you. But anyway, what if something like that happened here? I’ve gotta be prepared, you know?
So you’re stockpiling, huh? I think right now you’ve got enough to last you through the whole winter. Is that because you don’t think I’ll take care of you?
Well no; God, it’s not like that at all. I just, um… I just… OK, you’re right. I think some of that food will expire before I ever get to eating it.
Well here’s an idea; maybe you could think about bringing some of those canned goods with you to church next week. You know, it’s Trinity’s month to collect food for the Bauer Center. Don’t let good food go to waste. While it’s still good, bring it in and put it in the box for the pantry.
I guess that’s a pretty easy way to help people.
It is. And here’s another idea… You know Mrs. Jones?
Sure. The widow at the end of the street?
Her only son lives in California. She eats by herself every evening. Maybe you should think about inviting her over for dinner. Share some of that daily bread… or the canned peas at least.
You know, this prayer stuff is really turning into a lot of work.
Well, praying is a risky thing. And powerful.
Be careful. You just might get what you ask for.
And, remember, YOU called ME-- and here I am.
It's too late to stop now. Please, keep praying. ( . . pause . . )
Well, go on.
I'm afraid to.
Afraid? Of what?
I know what you'll say next.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
What about Ann?
See? I knew it!
I knew you would bring her up!
Why, Lord, she's told lies about me, spread stories.
She never paid back the money she owes me.
I’d really like to teach her a lesson.
But -- your prayer --What about your prayer?
I didn't -- mean it. Well, I meant most of it; just not all of it because Ann is so difficult to forgive. I mean, don’t you think it’s exhausting when people just commit the same sins over and over and over again? Do you know how that feels?
Um hmm… I think I do.
Well, at least you're being honest with me.
But, it's quite a load to be carrying around all that bitterness
and resentment, isn't it?
Yes, but I’ll show her.
And, I'll feel better as soon as I get even with her.
No, you won't. You won’t feel any better. You'll feel worse.
Revenge isn't sweet. You know how unhappy you are with her right now --
Well, I can change that.
You can? How?
Forgive Ann. And, I'll forgive you. And the anger and the sin
will be Ann's issue-- not yours. You’ll be free of it.
You will have settled the problem, at least where you’re concerned. And Ann and I will have a talk together… a little like this one... That is, if you can trust me with her?
Oh, I know, you're right. You always are.
And more than I want revenge, I do want to be at peace. All my irritation with her has been making it hard to get to sleep at night.
I want to be right with You. . (sigh) and I want to feel better too.
OK. I forgive her.
There now! Wonderful! How do you feel?
Hmmmm. Well, not bad. Not bad at all!
In fact, I feel pretty good!
You know, I don't think I'll go to bed so uptight tonight.
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. Sometimes you make some poor choices for yourself.
What do you mean by that?
You know exactly what I mean. Do you want me to spell it all out?
No. I do know what you mean… and you’re right.
Okay. Go ahead. Finish your prayer.
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 do want to please you now.
Sometimes I really make a mess out of things.
I really do want to follow you.
I can see now how great that would be.
So, tell me. How do I make you happy?
YOU just did.
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