Monday, May 30, 2016

The Lord's Prayer

I just finished two series: one on the Ten Commandments and one on the Apostles' Creed.  Both were based on my time with Celebrate Recovery, a wonderful resource to help anyone and everyone healing from either addiction or sin, which is everyone, to heal and to be able to be honest and open about their problems.

At each meeting, recoverers recite the 12 steps of recovery based on AA but with Scripture and 8 steps of recovery based on the beatitutes followed by the Serenity prayer.  As helpful as those are, I feel like it would be more helpful to draw from more historical source and on Scripture.

Scripturally, we do not have problems or bad choices, we have sin the separates us from God and will for eternity unless we surrender our lives to Jesus who lived the only perfect life and died in the only complete sacrifice for all the sins of those he will save.  He rose again from the dead.  Being both God and man he intercedes between us and the Father.

It would be helpful for people who come to church for recovery to recite the 10 commandments to show them what exactly is their sin and why it is so deadly.  It would also be good to recite the Apostles' Creed because it shows what all God has done to both create us and save us from our sins.  Jesus is the only solution to our sins.  Not 12 steps and not my resolve to make better decisions.  Only Jesus can save me.

The Lord's Prayer would be a better prayer to pray than the Serenity Prayer.  The Lord's Prayer was specifically taught by our Lord to the disciples when they asked him how to pray.  The Serenity Prayer has good moments, but is not biblical, is attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr, a liberal, and is not really God's solution to the sin and tragedy in our world.  God doesn't want us to merely live in the world and take its blows.  He wants us to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and fight for justice in order to make it more like the Kingdom of God.

So this is my start to the Lord's Prayer.  It is divided into six petitions, so the next six posts will be about those.

When you pray, it is also good to come just as you are and not do anything extra whether it is to light a candle, draw a circle, or any other unbiblical ritual not prescribed by the Lord.  The principle behind the 2nd commandment, the one to not make a graven image, is that we do not try to worship God in ways that he has not commanded.  God cannot be manipulated.  God wants us to come to him through Jesus with nothing but ourselves.  Anything extra that we do is relying on our own efforts and telling the Lord that we don't believe he cares more about us and our loved ones more than we do.  I can't think of anything more arrogant and less trusting in the Lord.  Just come as you are with nothing else.

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