Grace at work in the Lord's Prayer

As I've been re-learning about the grace of God, yesterday and Friday, I'm more alert to those occasions when God's grace jumps out at me, like this morning while I walked the dog. Like every morning, I pray through Jesus's prayer from Matthew 6. I blogged through this prayer, link summary here, three years ago. But this morning, I was stopped in my tracks by the end of the prayer, after we ask for God to forgive us as we forgive others. After we repent, Jesus tells us to ask our heavenly Father to lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one, Matt. 6:13. This prayer I have prayed for years says simply and profoundly what I'm relearning. Repent and ask for deliverance. The prayer is not, repent and try harder, but repent and ask Dad to protect us from the things that entangle us and the enemies who try to destroy us. I agree with the band Skillet, that sometimes the evil one is myself. They have a great song on their latest CD called Monster, video, lyrics follow.

The secret side of me, I never let you see
I keep it caged but I can't control it
So stay away from me, the beast is ugly
I feel the rage and I just can't hold it

It's scratching on the walls, in the closet, in the halls
It comes awake and I can't control it
Hiding under the bed, in my body, in my head
Why won't somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I've become, the nightmare's just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

My secret side I keep hid under lock and key
I keep it caged but I can't control it
'Cause if I let him out he'll tear me up, break me down
Why won't somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I've become, the nightmare's just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

It's hiding in the dark, it's teeth are razor sharp
There's no escape for me, it wants my soul, it wants my heart
No one can hear me scream, maybe it's just a dream
Maybe it's inside of me, stop this monster

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I've become, the nightmare's just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I've gotta lose control, he something radical
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I'm not denying the reality of Satan, who "prowls about like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour", 1 Peter 5:8. The big deal for me this morning is realizing that Jesus models for us a prayer saturated with grace. He instructs us to say we are sorry and ask for help with all these things that get us into trouble. What a good God! What a perfect Dad!

Comments

Rich said…
Very true, John. However, it's easy to think that asking God to "lead us not into temptation" means that He will just deliver us from sin every time if we pray it... that is reading into it and omitting other Scriptures on the subject (not that I'm saying you're doing this... but I have in the past). 1 Cor. 10:13 talks about how God gives us the way of escape from every temptation. I believe the truth within that verse is the answer to the prayer "lead us not into temptation" (or at least a promise relative to it). God will lead us not into temptation, but we have to be willing to choose the door that says "ESCAPE" on it from our temptation. That is not easy, but God will not do it for us. So we do have to try harder, but God's prevenient grace gives the opportunity to begin with, although it does not solve everything.
Rich said…
Maybe "trying harder" isn't the right language. I struggle with thinking that a "choice" is "trying". Or that a "choice" is "doing". A choice is not doing or trying. A choice is just the preference of one of a number of options. We can choose to not sin, or else why would Jesus have told people he healed to stop sinning if they were unable to stop? Or why would the Apostle John write to us in order that we would not sin if it were not possible for us not to sin? 1 John 2:1
John Umland said…
i definitely do not think "trying harder" is the answer. submission, death to self, humility, repentance are the words Jesus used. they are passive stances, allowing God to get all the credit and the glory for any improvement in our lives.
God is good
jpu

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