Friday, May 3, 2013
Cover the Waterfront Prayers
Most of us pray prayers that cover the waterfront when it comes to asking God to forgive us for our sins. Jesus taught us to pray in what we call "The Lord's Prayer" those words, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." While we may not want to take Jesus at His Word on everything He said, it is fine for most of us to observe such a practice with this Word. Perhaps, it is simply the way we were taught to pray. Our coaching parents taught us to pray at the end of the day something like, "God, forgive me for my sins," and most of us are quite content to keep repeating the same word as adults. It is the waterfront prayer that covers them all.
It is also the prayer which keeps our sins at an arms distance and maybe even farther away. Imagine how our prayers might be different if we asked God to show us those places where we sinned in the day behind us. Imagine how our prayers might be different if we started naming those sins and describing those moments in the presence of God. We might hear ourselves praying, "Lord, forgive me for seeing that homeless guy and thinking he should get a job instead of trying to help," or "Lord, I said some things I wish I had not said in that conversation this morning. Did You hear it? Of course, You did." Or, "Lord, when I cut down on the car horn today at that guy, I was really angry, too angry to be living with You in my heart."
The Scripture makes it clear we can confess our sins and know God's forgiveness. Being honest about what we feel when we do what is displeasing to God might be uncomfortable for us, but it may also be the kind of confession which not only brings to us the measure of forgiveness needed, but also helps us see the things which are really lurking in our hearts and ready to express themselves all too quickly. Putting aside the cover the waterfront prayers and being more specific may be more time consuming, but it might also be a way of helping God do some much needed heart work.