Fall is upon us! Pumpkin spice everything has hit the shelves and the mornings are starting to feel like sweater weather. Even though we’re rounding the bend on the final quarter of the year, for many it feels like the new year with school starting and vacations done. At our house fall means cleaning the shed and rearranging the outdoor equipment (lawn mower to the back, snow blower to the front) and catching up on the house cleaning we cheerfully neglected in favor of summer activities. And all that cleaning can lead to some much needed decluttering.
We also just finished our summer 21 Days of Prayer here at Lakes. And sometimes a period of focused prayer can feel like a deep cleaning and decluttering as well, as we deal with overdue issues and set fresh priorities for the next season of our walk with God.
There is a quote making the rounds on social media right now, generally accompanied by a picture of the fall trees in their full glory: “The trees are about to show us how beautiful it is to let things go.” And as we have just finished looking at some of the prayer of the Bible in our sermon series, it brings to my mind the Lord’s Prayer…..how prayer can be a way of letting things go. Take a look at what we are encouraged to let go of and what we’re left with when we lay all those burdens down at our Heavenly Father’s feet (the Lord’s Prayer is found in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 6 verses 9-13):
9 Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
We lay down our POSITION and our striving for importance as we acknowledge the Holiness of God’s name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
We lay down our WILL in any way it does not align with God’s best plan for our lives.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
We lay down our ANXIETY about our future, whether it’s tomorrow food or next year’s unknowns.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
We lay down our OFFENSES, both those others have committed against us and those we have committed against God:
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
We lay down our DESIRES when they create a barrier between ourselves and God.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
And when we’ve laid down every unnecessary or harmful thing that we’ve been holding onto too tightly, our hands are free to raise in WORSHIP.
This devotional was originally presented at our Saturday morning prayer service. Please join us for a special time of worship and prayer every Saturday morning at 9 am!