Sunday, February 08, 2009


We pray in ["forgive us our trespasses"] that God would not look at our sins, nor deny our prayer because of them. We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace ....

I don't know about you, but I usually think about "prayer" as "asking God for things." I am not worthy of such a great husband, nor a pantry full of flour and peaches and peanut butter, nor a house with a furnace. I have not deserved my Camry, nor my rabbit-killing huntress, nor a neighborhood free of crime. But God gives me all these things by grace.

At least, that's how I normally think of this petition.

But this week the light-bulb finally clicked for me about something that Pastor has been saying for years. "Our prayer" and "the things for which we pray" are particularly the things we just said. In other words, the other petitions of the Lord's Prayer.

We are not worthy for there to be true doctrine anywhere on earth.

We are not worthy that God would send prophets and preachers out into the world.

We are not worthy that God would give His Holy Spirit into our hearts.

We are not worthy that the devil's will be thwarted.

Somehow it's easy to see how I do not deserve to have my sins forgiven, that I do not deserve for God to guard me from temptation, that I do not deserve the material "stuff" that sustains my physical life, etc. But it seems so much bigger to realize that we --the whole human race-- we do not even deserve for any true doctrine to exist anywhere on the face of the whole earth. Even before I can be saved, even before the Holy Spirit can work faith in my heart, there is the wonder that God in His grace ensures that His word is taught in its truth and purity at all.

Our unworthiness doesn't stop God. His loving nature gives and gives and gives, even though we most surely do not deserve it.

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