prayer1It’s becoming more and more apparent as we journey through the book of Luke.

I suppose any saint would tell you the same thing.  But it is one thing to be told, and another to experience it for yourself. 

Almost every passage in Luke hammers on the theme of surrender.  Of total submission to God.  Just look at the last few posts: surrender to God life’s “details,” sacrifice life’s daily boring work, submit to the heart of God’s law of love, surrender pride, and on and on.

And here we are in Luke 11:1-4, the famous “Lord’s Prayer.”  Guess what big theme jumped out at us through our discussion yesterday?

Yeah, submission.

It seems prayer as Jesus taught is a lot about surrender.

When reading the Lord’s Prayer though the lens of surrender:

“Father, hallowed be your name.  Your kingdom come.”  Immediately we’re taught to be Other-focused, God-focused.  Prayer is not ultimately about us.  It is not our kingdom come…our plans, ideas, desires, schemes.  God’s Kingdom is about the divine transformation of us and our world, bit by bit, to be fully here in power at the end of the age.

To truly, genuinely pray for God’s Kingdom is to pry open our fists and to release whatever it is that we’ve been grasping to God’s perfect will.  That’s surrender.

“Give us each day our daily bread.”  We are taught to seek God for our being, our needs.  We are to trust Him and surrender our illusion of self-sufficiency, pride, and various other “idols.”

“Forgive us…as we forgive…”  A surrender of grudges, resentment, dark spots, and unhealthy relationships.

“And lead us not into temptation.”  A surrender of our future to God’s faithful guidance.  By this point in the prayer we are in a state of full submission and we certainly don’t desire to leave.  God, please keep us here!

We know these truths.  We’ve heard them again and again.  Do we  live these truths and not merely mentally assent?

The work of total surrender is tough, life-long work.  It is heart work.  And our talks with God, our communication, our prayers aid us in this endeavor.

Well, they don’t just aid us.  They are necessary. 

Do we want to REALLY live?  Then we must learn to pray.  And we must learn to submit.

Or maybe prayer and submission are really the same thing.