I planned to share a post on ‘repentance’, which I will do over the next few days; however, I got struck yesterday by the “3 occurrences” nudge that I thought was useful to share.
Have you ever found that a verse or a message appears 3 times in a very short period of time? Do you take any special notice of it?
I do. I believe it’s one of the gentle nudges from the Lord.
Yesterday I was working through my devotionals and two of them referred specifically to The Lord’s Prayer. Interestingly, both emphasised a different perspective.
Now you might say that’s only twice, so it’s just a coincidence. However, prior to that whilst eating breakfast I happened to read Margaret Feinberg’s daily email with the heading: “How can the Lord’s Prayer Transform you forever?”
So I was a goner – 3 strikes. There was something specific that God wanted me to notice from the prayer.
Margaret suggested we recite it 3 times during the day: 9am, noon and 3pm. Then meditate on what changes we can make to our own prayer life to more replicate Jesus’ prayer life.
So I did this during the day and in fact have repeated the practice today using the groovy little “Prayer Notebook” app I mentioned last week.
Nothing grabbed me on praying it the first two times during the day, however, later I read this from Larry Crabb’s “66 Love Letters”:
“When you find yourself in the desert, draw near to Me, not with an entitled spirit but in confident hope. You will discover that hope only in My Presence. Therefore, devote your first energies to rebuilding the temple, not your lives.”1
Because Lent is a “spring-cleaning” exercise, we can get too focused on ourselves. What I love about the Lord’s Prayer is it brings me back to focusing on the Father. I so love the first two verses:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.”
It’s not about us. We’re living in God’s story, He’s the author of it and the spring-cleaning is required so we can have more of Him and less of ourselves.
Today as I meditated on the prayer again, I was struck by the petition for forgiveness, but especially the second half of it:
“as we also have forgiven those who sin against us.” (NLT)
I’ve been grappling this week with needing to forgive someone for a lot of hurt I’ve experienced. So this was that gentle reminder to lay both the hurt and this friend at the Cross to allow healing.
Thanks Lord for the gentle nudge.
If you haven’t spent time in the Lord’s Prayer for a while, I’d encourage you to do what Margaret suggested: recite it 3 times during the day and see what the Lord draws out. I’d also encourage you to read The Message version as an alternative. It’s quite different and contains this great verse:
“You’re in charge!”
And then ends with:
“Yes. Yes. Yes.”
Have a wonderful weekend.
Notes: 1. 66 Love Letters, Dr Larry Crabb, Thomas Nelson, 2009, p60