Vision Builders Part 1

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As we stand on the threshold of a pivotal weekend for our church community—Vision Builders part 1—it’s essential to reflect on our recent spiritual journey and the profound exploration of prayer, specifically through the lens of the Lord’s Prayer. Over the past four weeks, our focus has been sharply tuned to just three words: “Your kingdom come.” These words, though brief, encapsulate the vastness of Jesus’ teachings on prayer, a topic sparked by the disciples’ request as recorded by Luke and further explored through R.T. Kendall’s book, “The Lord’s Prayer.” Click here for our book review!

Understanding the Lord’s Prayer

Our current series has immersed us deeply into Matthew 6:9-13, in which Jesus provides a template for prayer—a recipe not just for requesting help but for aligning ourselves with the divine will, expressed through the invocation of God’s kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven. This prayer is more than a set of words; it is a revolutionary call against the autocratic Roman rulers of Jesus’ time, emphasizing a life under the divine rule that contests earthly powers.

The inclusion, or exclusion, of the doxology “Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever” in various Bible translations (absent in modern versions like the NIV and ESV but present in the KJV and NKJV) highlights the dynamic nature of scripture. It reflects back on David’s words in 1 Chronicles 29:11, which likely influenced Jesus and were adapted into this prayer, underscoring its depth and connection to Jewish traditions.

The Role of Prayer in Christian Life

This series has reawakened an essential query within our hearts: “Why pray?” If God is omniscient, what purpose does our prayer serve? This question leads us to understand that prayer is not about changing God’s will but about transforming us, aligning our desires with God’s, and acting as co-laborers to realise His kingdom on Earth. It’s a dialogue, meant to deepen our relationship with God, as shown in Ezekiel 22:30, where God searches for someone to “stand in the breach” — an intercessor who embodies His will through action.

James 2:17 reminds us that faith without works is dead, a statement that boldly claims that passive faith is insufficient without the active engagement of prayer and deeds. Prayer is our spiritual act of declaring that we see the world not as it is but as it should be under God’s dominion. It’s about reaching beyond our immediate needs and embracing a broader, divinely inspired vision of justice, mercy, and grace.

Reflecting on How We Pray: The Structure of the Lord’s Prayer

Interestingly, the structure of the Lord’s Prayer—often recited backward in our minds—starts not with our needs but with God’s holiness, “Hallowed be your name.” It suggests a pathway of approaching God: from recognizing His holiness, to submitting to His will, before attending to our personal needs and forgiveness. This structure teaches us the principle of seeking first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33), ensuring that our priorities align with divine priorities.

Through David’s psalms and Jesus’ sermons, we learn that praise precedes provision, a theme that resonates through the powerfully comforting words of Psalm 23, reflecting a total dependence on God for all things.

Vision Builders: Looking Forward

As Vision Builders weekend unfolds, we’re not just planning for the immediate future but laying a spiritual foundation that will impact generations. By focusing on the transformative power of collective prayer and generosity, we’re tapping into an ancient biblical principle that promises divine intervention in our personal lives and our community—mirroring the early church’s dedication to prayer and communal living as seen in Acts.

We are called to build not just a community but a kingdom that reflects God’s glory. From our teachings on the Lord’s Prayer to the communal efforts in Vision Builders, every step we take is an act of faith, drawing us closer to the reality of God’s kingdom on Earth. As we contribute to this weekend’s offering, let’s do so with a heart full of faith, believing that each gift, no matter the size, is a seed into the fertile ground of God’s eternal kingdom, yielding a harvest of righteousness and peace for all who partake in its bounty.

In summary, Vision Builders is more than just a moment. It’s a movement towards a fuller, more engaged spiritual life that seeks to see God’s kingdom come, His will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Let us embrace this divine invitation with open hearts and hands ready to serve, build, and transform.

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