Prayer is the framework that God uses to work His puzzle of purpose through our lives.
I have fond memories of my Grandmother. I loved staying weekends at her home when I was growing up. I would be dropped off at her place on Friday evenings for the weekend. Saturday mornings were always the best. The smell of pancakes would draw me from the bed to kick off the day. I can still smell those pancakes with the nose in the memory of my mind. Another fond memory was working on puzzles with her. She often had a new puzzle waiting on her, and I to work on.
Puzzles are simple in concept but big on journey. A puzzle is an image that has been completed on a sturdy backing and then punched out with a press into random pieces that must be put back together. You open the box and pour out the content pieces and set the picture to the side for reference. You work to put the puzzle back to the original picture.
In John 4, Jesus said that His food was to do the will of Him that sent him and to accomplish that work. In other words, it’s as if Jesus were saying, “My life is His work and His work is my life. Jesus was sent to redeem humanity and the world that was once a picture called, “Good” in the garden but now broken and in need of being put back together. He was sent to bring the future picture of Revelation 21 to completion and we too are a part of that puzzle of purpose.
Jesus prayed. He prayed daily, and that connection with the Father brought power and direction into His life in order to put each piece of the puzzle that He was called to work, back into place. Our lives as Christ-followers are the same. We too must be people of the puzzle. Prayer is the framework God uses to work His puzzle of purpose through our lives.
We don’t untimely pray to gain favor with God. I’m favored in Him when I have plenty and when I have nothing. He is enough all on His own in my life and yours. We pray to reflex God to the world and to bring justice, peace and Righteousness into the broken puzzle of this world. Prayer is meaningful because it brings the message and mission of God into your life and into the world.
It’s been said, ““One way to ensure we keep God in our lives is to keep him in our days.” We do that by prayer. The Lord’s Prayer, or better yet-the disciple’s prayer is a great framework to keep God in our days and thus reflect Him to this world. The first part of the prayer starts with God and rightfully so to keep us from collapsing into self-centeredness. Take a look at the prayer with me.
Matthew 6:9-16 (ESV)
9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
We are called together corporately as a family in the address, “Our Father.” Yes, we pray as individuals but as a family also. We are able to pray because He is, “hallowed” in our lives and prayers. He is set, not to the side but in the center of our lives. Our call to prayer is more of an invitation than a command. We are being asked to step into the heart of Jesus, and when we do, all self-centeredness must not enter.
10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
We must become the answer to this prayer. Every time we exert the kingdom of heaven in this world God’s will (purpose) is felt by the world and another section of the puzzle is put into place.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
The Lord meets daily provision of our needs. When we pray verse eleven we are developing an awareness of dependence.
12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
We owe a debt to God, and the good news is we don’t have to pay. The payment was paid on the cross. We must accept the forgiveness and walk in that forgives toward others. Another section of the puzzle gets placed into the world.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
We are reminded with full awareness of the battle that we fight but when we watch and pray we find that God is greater in us than all that is in the world. N.T. Wright reminds us, “If we follow a crucified Messiah, we shouldn’t expect to be spared the darkness ourselves. But we must, and may, pray to be kept from its worst ravages, and to be delivered from evil, both in the abstract and in its personified form, ‘the evil one’.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Forgiveness is the greatest part of the puzzle. We are people of the future sent to bring forgiveness to a world shattered.
Pray through this prayer today and it will become the framework that God uses to work His puzzle of purpose through your life.