Lent Reflections – You’re in Charge!
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
This scripture also came to me several times in one day recently and I was drawn to the part on forgiveness. I spent some time soul searching my stubborn heart because I thought I might have forgotten to forgive someone. Looking back, The Lord might have been preparing my heart for something at work that made me angry. I got the verses in advance of when I needed them. Cool.
Thanks Teresa for dropping in. It’s a great prayer to meditate on often, isn’t it? Wonderful you experienced release when reflecting on those verses. Ian
Timely for me Ian! I have experienced just what you talk of here. With me it’s mostly Bible passages that repeat through music, devotions, lessons, studies. That confirms to me God is speaking and I need to listen, learn and apply. Another amazing reality is how God connected me to your website through the SUM site to learn more about demons we battle on earth because since I returned from Africa I have had a HUGE one on my hands with my sister and a close friend. Thanks to you opening the door in this area for me to acknowledge this truth I have been able to recognize them and fight! Thanks again for the shiny new book Ian! MUCH appreciated!
p.s. I am SO going to meditate on the Message version of the Lord’s prayer because I truly need it at this time for any direction He has in my battle. I LOVED the last two quotes. “You’re in charge.” EXACTLY the turn I’ve taken! “YES YES YES!”
Hey Joanne, great to hear from you. I’ve continued praying the Lord’s Prayer a few times a day and it’s been amazing how the Lord has used it to meditate on Him and to highlight stuff going on in my life that would be good to clear out. Those last two verses are pretty neat.