Finding Energy

August 17, 2016

Low energy.

           

No, not one politician's reference to a competitor.

           

It's the way a lot of us are feeling at the moment.

           

We're okay as long as we are in our confined, air-conditioned spaces. But once we go outside into the heat the energy seems to just be zapped from us. We are low energy.

           

I talk fast. I know I talk fast. When a previous pastor commented that I talk too fast my response was that she listens too slow. 

           

I think of that sometimes during the worship service. Sometimes I feel like we're talking, and listening, too slowly.

           

Our Father in Heaven, [pause]

hallowed be your name, [pause]

Your kingdom come, [pause]

your will be done, [pause]

on earth as in heaven. [pause]

Give us today [pause] our daily bread [pause]

Forgive us our sins [pause]

as we forgive those [pause]

who sin against us. [pause]

Save us from the time of trial [pause]

and deliver us [pause] from evil. [pause]

For the kingdom [pause], the power, [pause]

and the glory [pause] are yours, [pause]

now and forever. [pause] Amen.

 

On some of our low-energy Sundays I feel every pause as we say the Lord's Prayer. And then I laugh.

           

When I was responsible for putting together the worship bulletins, sometimes I needed to find a little room and I would change how the Lord's Prayer was formatted:

 

Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. 

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. 

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.

 

Did you realize that the Lord's Prayer is only five sentences?

           

While reformatting gained me a few extra lines of space, it never changed how we said it in worship.

           

Our Father in Heaven [pause] hallowed be your name, [pause]....

           

I love going to worship at Synod Assembly, or other places where there are a large number of pastors. Prayers go faster. 

 

Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.  For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.

 

The prayers are not rushed. They are not read. They are said from memory. They are said from the heart. 

           

Pastor Jason asked in last week's blog:  How often do we listen to what we say and pray in church?

           

I wonder that too sometimes as we pause our way through the phrases of the Lord's Prayer, instead of offering five powerful sentences. When we go through the Apostles' Creed, phrase by phrase, instead of presenting it as the story of faith that it is.

           

The hot weather may sap the energy from us. But listening to and understanding the words of the prayers we say in church can give us energy for the week ahead as we interact with others at work, the gym, the grocery store, and wherever else we have the opportunity to witness to others about our faith in Christ.

 

- Ann Warner

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