7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! 9 Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
10 May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need,
12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one. Matthew 6.7-13
Our Father… How lovely it is that you draw near like a father. Closeness, hugs, personal, protective. Just so much closer and nearer than my mobile phone feed.
…who art in heaven. Oh yes, I remember, you’re not on my facebook feed, not right now. Please, God help me to focus in the right place.
…your name is holy. Really, amazingly, set apart. There’s nobody like you, anywhere, online or off. You are in a league of your own.
…May your kingdom come. Yes, you rule. You rule my heart, my time, my actions. Would you work in my life so that when you say ‘unplug’ that’s exactly what I do – without delay.
…May your will be done… Yes, Lord, teach us to make comments online in such a way that people can tell we love you and follow you – let there be something so different about the way we use digital. You are a God of love – may this medium be used to show and convey your love in increasing measure.
… right here on earth as it is in heaven. You have always reached out to where we are. You came from heaven to earth to show us yourself. And now, may your people use every means, including going online where so many people’s attention is focused, and show you, your love, your nature. Right here on earth, including online.
…Give us today our daily bread. I’d really like to find some good links and posts today. You know, the sort that will inspire, and challenge, and that maybe I could share with others to help them too? But I’m also praying for everything else I need that sustains my life – community, real-life relationship, time with friends and family… O Lord, provide all I need.
…Forgive our sins. I’m so sorry for the way I’ve posted, frustrated, critical, mocking comments. Forgive me for the way I scorned that person in the ‘funny’ video, and for the way I spent too much time online and neglected to call my friend who could have done with some real life encouragement. I got my priorities all wrong, again. Have mercy, Lord.
…as we forgive those who sin against us. You know, LORD, how that comment hurt my feelings. How I was misunderstood. Help me to let it go, to let them go. You know how hard I have to try to stay away from the really nasty content – help me to forgive those who’ve posted it… those who seek to frighten, intimidate, manipulate or disgust me.
…don’t let us yield to temptation. God… the seduction of the online world seeks to draw me away from you every moment of every day. Hold me tight. Hold me in the reality of who you are – in your truth, purity, wholeness. Save me from the snares of addiction, of being tangled up in an online world and losing a grip on my daily life. Save me from content that would tempt me to do wrong, think wrong, be wrong. Hold me in your love.
…but rescue me from the evil one. I know that digital in itself is not evil. But I do know that the evil one seeks to ensare me any way he can. Be my protector. Open my eyes to every trap, keep me from his clutches. Secure me in your presence, with a pure heart and a sound mind, safe forever.
…[for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory…] How I worship you! There’s nothing like being in your presence, in awe of all that you are!