Do thou, Christ, deign to kindle our lamps...
- Columbanus, Sermon XIII (Irish, 7th century)
"Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come..."
- Matthew 6.9, 10
Simple prayers are very often the best prayers. Jesus cautioned against long-winded prayers meant more to impress others than to engage the Lord. He also insisted that our prayers should be such as we can get our minds around in a meaningful way.
Simple prayers do that. Look at the prayer of Columbanus: "kindle our lamps." How much is wrapped up in those few words! "Kindle" - an act of divine illuminating grace and power, God reaching down to us with warmth and light to renew and prepare us for the day. "Lamps" - the light each of us is called to shine before the watching world must be lit by God, or it will not be lit at all. Once lit, however, it drives back the darkness and opens a groove for the light of truth to penetrate another's soul.
Jesus' prayer is more profound still: "Your kingdom come..." How many thousands of times have we repeated those words? What are we really seeking? Do we really want the rule of King Jesus to direct our souls, govern our lives, be extended into all our relationships, roles, and responsibilities? Cover the whole earth with the same fervor, joy, and ready obedience that the rule of King Jesus knows in heaven?
And when we pray these things, do we really expect God to answer? Do we go forth into our daily lives looking to shine our lamps and further the righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit which is the Kingdom of God?
When you pray, what are you praying? What do you seek? How do you go forth from prayer, believing that you have the requests you have made of your heavenly Father in Jesus' name?
Try these two prayers, first thing every morning for two weeks: "Kindle my lamp, O Lord, and let Your Kingdom come in and through me." Then look out on the day ahead, determined to make the most of every opportunity to see these simple prayers bear fruit in your life.
Simple prayer, sincerely prayed and diligently pursued, can bring power to your daily walk with the Lord such as you have never known before.
What will you pray for today?