...give us this day our daily bread.
-Jesus teaching the disciples how to pray
Picture*photo by Denise Helms 2011
Sometimes it's difficult to read the gospels. We are separated from the way they were originally written by two thousand years of history, culture changes and language.

When I read the words of Christ, I try to imagine the sand in my sandals, the hot middle Eastern sun beating down on my head. I try to imagine the smells of camels and donkeys and sweating fishermen.  I try to feel that same swell in my spirit that these men and women must have felt while wondering is this the one that was promised? Will He lead us to freedom?

I imagine the bravery it took to call out to this teacher, this amazing healer, "Master, teach us how to pray!"

And then he begins, his words are simple but sweet, the prayer is short but beautiful. It is poetic and intimate and practical at the same time.

"Our Father..." 

There are only a few things I pray for on a daily basis, and usually it isn't bread. I like bread and everything but not everyday. But everyday I do pray for wisdom, creativity and that God be with me throughout my day.

I am not a Calvinist. I think I want to be, but I'm not. It would be great to say "oh, this was all planned out before I walked this Earth so I don't need to worry about anything, my choices don't matter because I believe in the sovereignty of God."

Please don't get me wrong, I believe that God is sovereign and wise and powerful and above all things. But if I know myself and I know that if I threw myself into Calvinism I would do nothing. Make no choices. Rather than working to make the world better I would wash my hands and say that this is God's will.

I used to pray for God's direction in my life and abandon myself to His will. 

Now I pray everyday for wisdom. I believe that, like a good Father, He has taught me how to make good choices and then gives me the opportunity to make those choices. He has taught me to learn from mistakes and failures, to pick myself up when I fall down.

At the end of all things I believe I shall stand before Him and give account of my life. If I only did what He told me then I'd have nothing to be accountable for. But instead I'll tell Him "Thank you for the wisdom you gave me...I did my best."

I believe He'll smile, and like a good dad will hug me and whisper in my ear "That's all I wanted, did you have a good time?" and we will sit and tell each other stories like I did when my parents would pick me up from camp and I couldn't wait to tell them about my week. 

Wanda Ritchie
7/31/2013 07:39:10 am

I'm sure you heavenly father is very proud of you. Hope you feel his hugs!

8/5/2013 10:30:35 am

I'm right there with you - if I was a Calvinist, I wouldn't do jack squat. I know God is sovereign and know everything that will happen, but believing that my prayers and actions make a difference is what keeps me praying and serving.

8/13/2013 12:58:55 pm

"oh, this was all planned out before I walked this Earth so I don't need to worry about anything, my choices don't matter because I believe in the sovereignty of God."

I think you need to know some more Calvinists, or at least, some that aren't lazy. The whole, "once saved, always saved" perspective is supposed to be in hindsight.

Only those who truly were saved lived like it. Plenty of humans will call themselves Christians and live like hell and the fact of the matter will be that they never knew the Lord, even if they went to church every Sunday or whatever.

As far as predetermination goes, we don't know what God has determined to do, so we participate in any way that we feel the Spirit has led us, knowing that at the end of the day, whether or not someone was healed or saved, Jesus had glory in our lives.

If you knew that a person was destined for Hell, would you just ignore them? Or would you still fight like the dickens to see if you could convince them that Jesus is Lord?

On the flip side, if you knew that a person was made for heaven, would you not study the Word with them, serve alongside them and still try to impact the world? Would you tolerate sin in their life?

Sorry- I had to figure this stuff out a few years ago when I realized that what I'd been taught was incomplete. Calvinism isn't bad, there are just bad Calvinists out there. Same with Arminian theology....

9/2/2014 08:55:15 am

I agree, wholeheartedly! God is so awesome and merciful, how could I not want what He wants - that none should perish, but all would have everlasting life (Curt's version). I think that's why Christ died for the whole world. If He has done so much for me, and loves me so much, then I want to love and serve Him with all my mind heart and soul! I only wish I were more faithful to Him - (like He always is there for me)


Leave a Reply.