Let’s have a little fun. We certainly know how to interrupt another person while they are talking. Well, at least I am much too experienced at that! What if God interrupted us when we prayed to Him? If praying is like having a conversation, what we have below could be one such experience!
The Lord’s Prayer (Interrupted)
“Our Father which art in heaven,”
“Don’t interrupt me. I’m praying”
But you called me
“Called you? I didn’t call you. I’m praying. Where was I? Oh yes, ‘Our Father which art in heaven'”,
There you did it again
Called me. You said, “Our Father which art in heaven.” Here I am. What’s on your mind?
“But I didn’t mean anything by it. I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord’s Prayer. It makes me feel good, kind of like getting a duty done.”
All right. Go on.
“Hallowed be Thy name.”
Hold it. What do you mean by that?
By “Hallowed be Thy name?”
“It means. It means …. Good grief, I don’t know what it means. How should I know? It’s just a part of the prayer. … By the way, what does it mean?”
It means honored, holy, wonderful.
“Hey, that makes sense. I never thought about what ‘hallowed’ meant before.”
“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Do you really mean that?
“Sure, why not?”
What are you doing about it?
“Doing? Nothing, I guess. I just think it would be kind of neat if you got control of everything down here like you have up there.”
Have I got control of you?
“Well, I go to church.”
That isn’t what I asked you. What about your temper? You’ve really got a problem there, you know. And then there’s the way you spend your money – all on yourself. And what about the kinds of books you read and what you watch on TV?
“Stop picking on me! I’m just as good as the rest of those people at church.”
Excuse me. I thought you were praying for My will to be done. If that is to happen, it will have to start with the ones who are praying for it. Like you, for example.
“Oh, all right. I guess I do have some hang-ups. Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others.”
So could I. (gently laughing)
“I haven’t thought about it very much until now, but I’d really like to cut out some of those things. I would like to, you know, be really free of them.”
Good. Now we’re getting somewhere. We’ll work together, you and I. Some victories can be truly won. I’m proud of you and especially love you.
“Look, Lord, I need to finish this up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does.
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
You could cut out the bread. It would help you lose weight.
“Hey, wait a minute! What is this, ‘Criticize me’ Day? Here I was doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups.”
Praying is a dangerous thing. You could wind up being changed! That’s what I’m trying to get across to you. Keep praying. I’m interested in the next part of your prayer.
Well, go on.
“I’m scared to.”
Scared? Of what?
“I know what you’ll say.”
Try me and see.
“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.”
What about Ann?
“See? I knew it! I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! I knew you would bring her up! Why Lord she’s told lies about me, spread stories about my family. She never paid back the money she owes me. I’ve sworn to get even with her!”
But your prayer? What about your prayer?
“I didn’t mean it about her.”
Well, at least you’re being honest. But it’s not much fun carrying that load of bitterness inside you, is it?
“No. That’s why I know I’ll feel better as soon as I get even. Boy, have I got some plans for that for her. She’ll wish she had never moved into this neighborhood.”
You won’t feel any better. You’ll feel worse. Revenge isn’t sweet. Think of how unhappy you already are. But, I can change all that.
“Tell You what, let’s make a deal. You forgive me first, then I’ll consider forgiving that … I mean … her.”
Forgive Ann first. Remember, I love her as much as I love you. Then you will feel My forgiveness for you in a way you don’t feel it now. Then the hate and sin will be Ann’s problem and not yours. You will have settled your heart.
“Oh, you’re right. You always are. And, more than I want to get revenge against Ann, I want to be right with you. But, (Pause) … (Sigh) … All right. I forgive her.
“Help her to find the right road in life, Lord. She’s bound to be awfully miserable now that I think about it. Anybody who goes around doing the things she does to others has to be out of it. Someway, somehow, show her the right way.”
There now! Wonderful! How do you feel?
“Not much better. I guess it will take time to forgive her. I do look forward to having a good night’s sleep soon.
You’re not through with your prayers. Go on.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Good! Good! I’ll do that. Just don’t put yourself in a place where you can be tempted.
“What do you mean by that?”
Don’t turn the TV on when you know the laundry needs to be done and the house needs to be picked up. Also about the time you spend with your friends, if you can’t influence the conversation to positive things, perhaps you should rethink the value of those friendships. Another thing, your neighbors and friends shouldn’t be your standard for “keeping up.” And please don’t use me as an escape hatch.
“I don’t understand that last part.”
Sure you do. You’ve done it a lot of times. You get caught in a bad situation. You get in trouble and then you come running to me: “Lord, help me out of this mess, and I promise you I’ll never do it again.” Do you remember some of those bargains you made with me?
“uh … yes, and I’m ashamed, Lord, I really am.”
Which bargain are you remembering?
“Well, there was the night that my husband was gone and the children and I were home alone. The wind was blowing so hard I thought the roof would go any minute and tornado warnings were out. I remember saying, ‘Oh God, if you spare us, I’ll never skip my devotions again.”
I protected you, but you didn’t keep your promise, did you?
“I’m sorry, Lord I really am. Up until now, I thought that if I just prayed the Lord’s Prayer every day, then I could do what I liked. I didn’t expect anything like this to happen.”
Go ahead and finish your prayer.
“For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.”
Do you know what would bring me glory? What would really make me happy?
“No, but I’d like to know. I think I want to please you. I can see what a mess I’ve made of my life on my own. It would probably go much better if I turned it over to you. Actually, it really would be better if I let You take over. You really do deserve my surrender … and my love.”
Love is not deserved. Not real love. It is freely given 100% of the time. Don’t you love your children no matter what?
Then you know how I feel about you, and every single person you know. Even the ones that don’t impress you. I love them just as much as I love you. In fact, I love every single person on Earth as much as I love you, and that is a lot!
“Wow, I did not realize that You love me as much as I love my kids. That’s amazing. I want to love You more!”
You just answered the question.
Yes. The thing that would bring me glory is to have people truly love Me. And I see that happening between us. Now that some of these old sins are exposed and out of the way, there is no telling what we can do together.
“Lord, let’s see what we can make of me, OK?”
Yes, let’s see.
– original author unknown
Please comment and/or respond to what you heard inside of you as you read this! Let’s share!