Lining Up Our Priorities

Good morning. It is Tuesday, October 20, 2015.

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is capitulate. This verb means, “to surrender often after negotiation of terms,” or, “to cease resisting : acquiesce.”

Today is Brandied Fruit Day. I don’t know, it’s the only choice they gave me. I’ve had brandy (excellent in eggnog, by the way), and I’ve had fruit. Never had “brandied fruit.”

The first day back to work wasn’t terrible. In fact, it went pretty smoothly.

Made it back to band practice, last night. The chops were a tad rusty, but I was playing pretty well by the end of the rehearsal. I’m really enjoying the Christmas music that we are rehearsing. We have a tree-lighting ceremony coming up on November 21, and then we will be playing the inaugural concert at a new venue in Southlake on December 12. Outdoors. Brrrr . . . Or not. It is Texas, you know.

Tonight is Huddle night. I’m thinking there are only about six weeks left in our Huddle.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “Prayer’s First Priority.”

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”
Matthew 6:9

“In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches that the first priority in praying is to ask that our heavenly Father’s name be hallowed.”

How many of us grew up thinking that this was a declaration or proclamation? I did. But it’s really a request, or petition. In this prayer, Jesus is telling us to ask the Father to “see to it that his own name is hallowed,” or honored as holy.

In a way, this petition is similar to Matthew 9:38, where Jesus tells his disciples to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send out more workers. We might find this surprising, to see Jesus telling us, the laborers, to pray for more laborers.

What do we learn from these petitions, from these instructions given by Jesus?

First, we learn that the purpose of prayer is not to attempt to move God to do things that he would not otherwise do. I think this is a common misconception. We sometimes see prayer as a means of changing God’s mind about things. And how often do we pray for things that, in our deepest hearts, we know aren’t good for us? And nothing is higher on God’s priority list than making his own name to be honored as holy.

Second, we learn that prayer is “God’s way of bringing our priorities into line with his. God wills to make great things the consequence of our prayers when our prayers are the consequence of his great purposes.”

The best way to be an effective pray-er is to bring your heart into line with God’s priorities. And the best way to do that is to begin them with a petition for him to make his own name holy in this world.

Father, may your name be hallowed in our land. May the whole earth honor your name as holy. May the earth be filled with your glory. But let it start right here, with me.

Grace and peace, friends.

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