Have you ever had someone in your life that you get all sorts of tongue tied around? I mean, when you go to speak to them, you just can’t seem to get your words to come out right. Even if you’ve rehearsed the speech 100 times, as soon as you get in their presence, it all goes bad. I had a boss like that once. He was the CEO of a former employer. I had massive respect for him but, if I’m honest, he scared the daylights out of me. He was very direct and very intimidating. We spent a lot of time together but I never quite gained that ability to speak freely around him.
Yesterday I heard a sermon on The Lords Prayer (Matthew 6:1-15). At the end of the service, we were challenged to take some time this week to review those 15 verses and reflect on them. I’m up for a good challenge so I figured I would give it a shot. I figured I might even blog my way through it. Then I hit verse 9.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
I’m no Bible scholar but I think Jesus was starting off pretty clear here. It’s like he was saying “look, before you get into your list (and we all bring a list), let’s remember who we’re talking to.”
Confession time…..I can’t begin to claim I have a good or even strong prayer life. When I do pray, it’s usually a quick couple of requests, maybe a shout out for some good things that have happened. If I’m praying before bed, a few times I’ve even drifted off mid-prayer. I’m just being honest. Therein lies the issue with verse 9. It’s like I have forgotten who I’m speaking to.
Let me ask you a question. If I had connections to Morgan Freeman and set you up to have lunch with him, would you be nervous to speak to him? My guess is most people would say “yes.” Dude used to be on Electric Company for goodness sake (showing my age here). I know I’d be nervous. I’d speak to him with great respect. Huge fan of his work.
So why do I approach God with less respect than I’d give Morgan Freeman?
I know Morgan Freeman played God in a couple of funny movies. But he’s not God. Morgan Freeman didn’t set the stars in place. Morgan Freeman doesn’t know every hair that used to be on my head. He doesn’t know the day I was born or even the day I’ll leave this place. Good guy. Great actor. Not God. Francis Chan once said:
The wise man comes to God without saying a word and stands in awe of Him.
When was the last time I “stood in awe” of anything, let alone God.
“Hallowed be your name.”
Jesus was pretty clear here that “you better check yourself before you wreck yourself.” You better know who you’re talking to. You better respect this Heavenly Father more than that CEO and Morgan stinking Freeman. I’m guilty of this. I need to approach the moments of prayer (quick, lengthy or otherwise) with a little more respect.
I believe He’s earned it.