Posted by Scott Foster on

Interesting conversations this week—never mind the politics. This is about us! Prayer life and practice. Last Sunday’s focus scripture was Luke’s version of what we now call The Lord’s Prayer. Jesus teaching us to pray.

By Tuesday night, a small group of us are gathering to begin a small group study (why aren’t there more of these, I wonder?) on Spiritual Practices. Lo and behold, guess which practice comes up first? You got it.

The video facilitator for the prayer practice is Brian McClaren, a well-known contemporary pastor, leader, author, and emergent Christian thinker. He chose the Lord’s Prayer to illustrate the practice and he breaks it down into four moves.

Wake up. “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.”
Tune up. “Your kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
Ask. “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”
Re-Enter. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Interesting subtitles! And, I’m not going to steal his material. I’ll bet a quick trip through Google would give us more from him on this if you want to dig deeper. Certainly in one of his books.

But, here’s what strikes me the most.

The illustrations in the workbook. The pencil drawings. They are yoga poses, which I don’t know a whole lot about. But, I’m planning to learn more because I think Christianity does a horrible job connecting body and Spirit. We crush it (especially Presbyterians!) when it comes to mind and spirit. All day long we crush it!

But, not so much body and Spirit.

Anyway, the “Tune up” illustration is the plank, an exercise for strengthening our core. Those are like the middle body, abdominal muscles, obliques, pelvic floor, diaphragm etc. Marathon runners crater when their core isn’t in shape.

One of our group pointed out the plank, a core illustration, and how powerful it is to the understanding of prayer as a Spiritual practice. As we tune up to pray, how deeply do we understand the kingdom come and God’s will be done? Do we? That blows my mind! (And my pudgy body core, too!) 

Do we come at this life expecting to encounter God’s kingdom?

Do we come at this life expecting God’s will?

Do we come at this life expecting God’s blessings?

In short, how’s your core?

Got into some heavy sledding all of a sudden, didn’t we?

There will be a much more proper announcement and commemoration of this in the coming weeks, but our church has received a huge blessing! A bequest from the estate of Bev Sebold has been given to the church. Sit down, now.

$1.6 million.

We have been blessed abundantly. Generously. With great joy. The cup runneth over. Over the top.

Don’t be surprised. Be amazed.

Praying for God’s blessings without expecting them is like carrying an umbrella and then being surprised by the downpour. Hello? Thy kingdom come! Of course it does.

So, how’s your core?

Grace & Peace,


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