- Dr. Gil Stieglitz
Secrets of the Lord's Prayer: From Self Focus to God Focus
So much of this world tries to distract us from thoughts of God.
Have you noticed that much of our thoughts consist of our own plans? We constantly think about what we are going to do with this issue, or what we think about what someone said, or how we are going to react to what that family member did, or what we want in regards to something. It is all about us! Our own natural inclinations are self-focused, but if we are going to have a great relationship with God, we must break through this natural, selfish perspective and “see” God. We need to break through this self focus and reach for God focus.
The answer about how to do that is adoration and exaltation of our great God. Not just when we go to church weekly (worshiping God weekly is very important, see Hebrews 10:25), but also daily worshipping God as Jesus instructs in Matthew 6:9. This is done during private devotions, which is made up of worshipping God, a time of prayer, reading the Bible or some scripture verses, and thinking on what you learn.
Our opposition is made up of the world, our flesh, and the devil, who all want us to be completely occupied with this world, our life, our emotions, our wants, our needs... but Jesus knows that we must rise above that and glimpse God. We need to see our life from God’s perspective, and that will only happen if we remind ourselves regularly of how magnificent God is.
In Matthew 6:9, Jesus is telling the disciples that an intimate relationship with God requires the spiritual exercise of worship, that is, hallowing God’s name. God is not going to hit us with a holy zap so that we always have a great relationship with Him and never need to pray again. I do hope I am hit with lots of spiritual experiences and electric times with God, but I will still need prayer and worship as a regular part of my life. Our modern world wants instant and permanent fixes that require no ongoing maintenance. But we must daily take the time to take our focus off of ourselves and put it on God. This focus-shift will help us with our prayer life immensely.
Just the other day, I was awakened in the middle of the night and could not go back to sleep. I was meditating on the Lord’s Prayer, just saying the phrases of the prayer over and over. The Lord whispered that I needed to practice the “hallowed by Thy Name” phrase, so I began exalting God according to His attributes: His omniscience, His omnipotence, His omnipresence, His Immutability, His Holiness, His longsuffering, His goodness, His faithfulness, and His sovereignty. The more I thought and explored these ideas about the wonder of God, the more delightful the time with the Lord became. The more I allowed my mind to be overwhelmed with the Supremacy of God, the more I could see my life and my decisions correctly. This is what God wants us to do as we interact with Him -- not just pray through these words in a rote manner.
Practice hallowing God’s name by thinking on one of His attributes. Start with the attributes God gives Himself in Exodus 34:6-7. Also consider these divine names of God and spend some time meditating on what these verses say and mean to you. I guarantee that when you do, your time with God will be sweeter and more delightful.
ELOHIM: God as Creator, Preserver, Transcendent, Mighty, and Strong. Genesis 1:1; 17:7, 6:18, 9:15, 50:24; 1 Kings 8:23
EL SHADDAI: God All-Sufficient. Genesis. 17:1,2; The Lord God the Almighty, Rev 16:7
ADONAI: “Lord” in our English Bibles: It means that we acknowledge the God of the Bible as our Master and Boss. The first uses of Adonai were in Genesis 15:2; 2 Samuel 7:18-22.
I would love to hear from you and your experience with God your Father. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, your greatest life is just ahead.
In His service,
P.S. Want more of Life Is Relationships? Click here for past issues!
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