I like to be in scripture all day, and I like to read books, especially books relating to scripture. Being in the written word is what I’ve been about for years, even decades now, though I don’t suppose I’ve done all that well in it. But it is my default, and more than that, my first take or place to where I’ll turn, apart from my own turns, actions and reactions. Of course whatever comes our way is the opportunity to look God’s way in Jesus and to God’s word.
During the past few years, reciting the “Jesus Creed” and praying the “Lord’s prayer” have become staples for me. Recently I let this practice wane a bit, but once again I do this as an integral or necessary part of my day.
The Jesus Creed:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.
The Lord’s/our Father prayer:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one,
for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Reciting these regularly when I’m about my daily tasks and life is helpful in keeping me centered in what is important (as well as helping me be less prone to be taken in by what’s not) and helps in keeping my prayer life active and alive.
We need to remain centered in God’s will of love in Jesus. Of course that will (God’s will) involves so much, which we can begin to understand from an ongoing reading and study of God’s word individually and in community as church. And God meets us with his good will right where we live in and through Jesus by the Spirit, or by the Spirit in and through Jesus, both. (Though I might want to emphasize here the Jesus-shaped life our lives are to become more and more like.)
And we need to remain in prayer in the way Jesus taught his disciples and teaches us. I am thankful that our church recites this prayer nearly every week.
Both help us stay centered in God’s will in Jesus, a will in which we in Jesus are in this life together for the world.