Will We Be Satisfied

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The prayer Jesus taught us to pray begins with Premise & Priorities, “Our Father in heaven, holy is your name - your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” As an opening, it’s both heartbreaking and hopeful, an invitation to lament, to be honest and deeply sad as we admit how wide the gap is between how things are in our world and how they are ultimately meant to be.

How things are ultimately meant to be… God speaks to Abraham toward the beginning of the human story, promising, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you… and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Gen. 12:1-3) And God gives John this vision of the promise fulfilled: “before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb,” different but not divided, gathered together around Jesus (Rev. 7:9).

How things actually are… African theologian Emmanuel Katongole, reflecting on faith after the Rwandan genocide, writes:

“How long, O God, will we go on with a mock Christianity that takes the tribalism of our world for granted?
How long, O God, will we be satisfied with the way things are?
How long, O God, will we try to "make some difference in the world" while leaving the basic patterns of the world unaffected?
How long, O God will we take consolation in numbers, buildings, and structures, when millions of your children are dying?
How long, O Sovereign Lord, will we remain blind to the lessons of history?”

As you pray the five movements of the Lord’s Prayer this morning (Premise, Priorities, Provision, Peacemaking and Protection) , would you spend a few extra minutes acknowledging God’s priorities and allowing yourself to grieve and not be satisfied? Perhaps you’d even like to put your own prayer of lament into writing.

Our Father in Heaven, holy is your name.

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil,

For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. AMEN.