Ah, the Lord’s Prayer.
This is is the second-to last in a series of entries, and as in those prior (and the last to come), my hope is that you may join me to just sit, soak and soar together, and knit our hearts closer and closer to our most wonderful Gardener.
Oh Father, in Your proven kindness and mercy look upon us, and with tender pity forgive us for all the things we do wrong. And Papa we mess up so much! We mess up on our own, in ourselves and with others! We need You! We need Your Spirit to guide us! Show us Papa what Your forgiveness looks like, and what it looks like to forgive for us to do the same so that we can be free, free as we choose to do the same over and over, free from the poison and weight and chains of unforgiveness. Father, fill our depths with the full knowledge of the utter scale and deepest depth of Your grace and relief offered for us, of Your eternal heart that beats with never-ending love for us! Help us to be merciful and forgiving of those who wrong us, who irritate us, who grieve us, so that Your mercy and Truth and Your restorative justice wins over bitterness, judgement and condemnation – and transforms the earth!
Help me to live in your atmosphere of tender love so that I drop all the extra carry-on baggage of my personal issues, all my pretense, my pride and ego, my ugliest of the most foul parts of my thought patterns and actions and habits, and work instead in cooperation with You, and your Spirit. Oh Father, have mercy and forgive me when I do wrong – deliberately in stupid rebellion (I mean, honestly!) and when I don’t have my wits about me, and help me to recognize and be merciful and forgive others, for sin is sin no matter the measure. Help me to push past the temptation to hold it against my offender and to look down on them as if I’m better than them (!!), to be instead tender and forgiving, to hope in the best, and to leave their transformation in Your hands and care. Help me as I struggle with leaving their transformation in Your hands.
Spare us all from the bad things that might happen to us, and from the stress and pressure that comes when we’re under trial and crushing worldly burdens. In these moments especially, I have absolutely no confidence in my abilities, nor even in my reserves of faith, for they will never be enough without Your Presence and constant care. Protect us from circumstances that threaten to destroy even an iota of who we are as Your children, for there is not one of us who can, in our own humanness, in our own power, overcome them.
And Papa, keep me from wandering off to the bright lights, the decoys, the traps and tricks that tempt me away from You. Keep me focused and alert to the triggers and lures, discerning and wise to the methods of the one who seeks my destruction above all else, in circumstance and in heinously using me and others to do his dirty work, his evil. He hates me because I love You. Keep me alert to all his sneaky, snakey and despicable ways. Save me and set me on higher ground. And if it’s Your will, be in my outstretched hands to pull others up with me.
Your strength, Papa, is perfected in my life precisely in and through my weaknesses. When I am weak, and Papa that is often!, somehow, I manage to get through the circumstance that would otherwise crush me. That has to be You! It is in this atmosphere of faith in You and Your Plan that I wish to live – hopeful faith, that hope that never ever disappoints!
Soil and Seed