Gooood morning, Mini-Women! I'm sure you've figured out from Friday's post (and if you haven't read that, take a few minutes to do that little thing, even if you don't comment), that as we look at what Jesus taught us about how to pray, we're into the Lord's Prayer right now. Do you know it by heart? Have you been able to recite it practically before you could say your ABCs? Even if it's new to you, it's said so often that it doesn't take long before you can rattle it off.
That's awesome. It means if you're having trouble putting your own thoughts into words with God, you can always say that prayer.
The only problem with it is that we can get so used to saying it, we don't think about what it means. It's sort of like the Pledge of Allegiance, for those of you mini-women who are growing up in the U.S. That's why we're taking it line by line as part of our Talking To God Journal series. (And if you're just joining us, click here and you'll learn all about it. You don't have to "catch up" -- just jump right in.)
In today's verse, Jesus says, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." When I was a kid, a little younger than you, I used to wonder "What 'kingdom' is he talking about?" What's the first thing that comes to YOUR mind when you hear the word "kingdom?"
I have to admit that at this point I'm thinking the Magic Kingdom at Disneyworld because ... THAT'S WHERE I AM RIGHT NOW! But that's not what Jesus is talking about -- obviously!
Some of you might be thinking he means "heaven." We do hear a lot about "the kingdom of heaven", and as Christians we believe that's where we're headed as we follow Christ. Even in the prayer itself, Jesus mentions "heaven."
If you read it really closely, though, you see that when we pray those words, we're asking God to let his will be done here on earth, just the way it's done in heaven. That's a HUGE prayer, because we can see that earth is almost nothing like heaven right now.
nobody makes mistakes everybody makes mistakes
no sorrow & pain sorrow and pain everywhere
no fighting fighting whereever you look
Get the idea?
So it might seem like a pointless prayer, because it sure doesn't look like earth is ever going to be like heaven. But does that mean we don't try? In many ways it's a whole lot closer than it used to be:
* we don't have legal slavery in our country any more
* there is way more equality for women and people who aren't white
* we undertand mental illness so much better
* many diseases have been brought under control
* we have big campaigns against bullying instead of thinking it's just part of growing up.
That didn't just happen by itself. Many people prayed and followed God's guidance in making those changes.
TALKING TO GOD JOURNAL TOPIC SUGGESTION: In your journal, talk to God about anything in your life here on earth that you would like to see become more like heaven. You can also discuss things that are happening in the world around you that are SO not like heaven. Don't think your nine-, ten-, eleven- or twelve-year-old prayers don't count in big things, because they do. And it's ALL big to God -- even your issues with your siblings or your fear that you won't fit in.
IF YOU WANT TO COMMENT ON THIS POST: Tell us about two not-like-heaven things you're going to God with. ONE can be something in your own life (Don't give us names or lots of details. Something like, "My dad and me not getting along" is plenty) TWO can be something in the bigger world that you pray will be made more heaven-like (that could be "There are lots of problems in my church" or "The spread of ebola". That's all you have to say) This will be a short comment from you, but it will pack a powerful punch.
My prayers are going up for YOU -- that your life will be mnore and more like heaven on earth. When we're connected to God, even when things go wrong, we can still feel ike we're a little bit in heaven, becasue we know we're loved.