Morning Musing: Matthew 6:5-6

“Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

There are numerous books out there offering readers an intro on how to pray. I even read one simply called that: How to Pray. A quick Amazon search for “prayer books” turns up more results than you can click through. As you read through the Scriptures, there are lots of examples of prayer to study and emulate. Many of these books examine one or another of these prayers. The reason for all of this interest is pretty straightforward: We want to know how to pray. We want to know that our prayers are meaningful and have some reasonable chance of accomplishing their aim. We want to know that when we speak aloud in an empty room we’re not just talking to ourselves. Well, at the risk of doing little more than dripping a drop of water in an already flooded market, let’s take a second this morning and talk about prayer.

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Digging in Deeper: Matthew 7:1-2

“Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For you will be judged by the same standard with which you judge others, and you will be measured by the same measure you use.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

“You can’t judge me!” Ever heard that line before? It’s usually thrown down as a challenge when someone has done something wrong, he knows it, but he doesn’t want to feel guilty about having done when he is around another person he knows agrees it was not the right thing to do. And in our hyper-tolerant society these are some of the only words of Jesus that receive a glowing, unconditional acceptance. But what do they actually mean? Maybe not what you think they do.

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Digging in Deeper: 2 Samuel 22:4

“I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

We know what it looks like to be saved from our enemies, right? David sure did. It meant they were completely defeated and destroyed. It meant achieving military victory. It meant putting down any and every rebellion. It meant no one was standing in his way. He had experienced these kinds of victories all his life. But, as followers of Jesus, is this still the kind of victory we should expect to experience?