We saw in our last article this simple statement come to life: Prayer is simple communion and intimacy with God. There is no greater pursuit for His glory than to pray, it is the connection of the heart of man with the heart of God. Quite simply, it is a heavenly love affair. Now we want to venture forward and really dive into the pattern for your love affair with God. Turn in your bible to the familiar, yet I believe, slightly inaccurate title for this passage, “The Lord’s Prayer.” Really? I think by Jesus very words that it would be more accurately title, “The Lord’s Pattern of Prayer” and I would go further it should be called, “The Lord’s Pattern for Intimacy”. Prayer is the heart connection that grows intimacy and communion with God.
Here are the simple words that make up the pattern of prayer:
Pray, then, in this way:
Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Look at the language from the beginning, “Pray, then, in this way…” This is clearly a pattern. I have created a website that unfolds in a browser this pattern to assist those of you as readers to enter in and learn how to pray at http://www.theultimateonlinesystem.com I call it “The Ultimate System for Prayer” because Jesus gives us this pattern and teaches us how to pray. I feel that it is close to Jesus sitting with us in a circle and coaching us how to excel in our intimacy with the Father. I always wonder when Jesus slipped away to a “certain place to pray”, as He often did, what were His prayers to the Father. I suggest that He followed this pattern of prayer because this is how He teaches us to pray.
The first line jumps out, “Our Father who art in heaven…” This line starts with familial intimacy, our Father. “Our” represents personal relationship; “Father” represents “Daddy” or intimacy. Now I must stop and be sensitive to those who have fathers on earth that are less than perfect and many times abusive. This picture can be hard. I pray for those fo you that have seriously marred views of the Father who is in heaven. I pray that the Spirit of God will give you revelation into the heart of our Father who is perfect and is in heaven. One of the best places to connect with the Father who is in heaven is in Psalm 139:17-18:
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.
Do you really know how precious you are to Him? If not, take a moment to ponder this scripture. Ask God to reveal the truth to your heart. Ask Him to overcome all of the marred and messy pictures of fathers on earth. Ask Him to replace in your heart with the divine romance. You are precious and this is how Jesus starts the pattern of prayer.
The sum of His precious thoughts for you completely outnumber the sands on all the beaches in all the earth. How much is that?
If every star came with a planet like earth that had billions of sand grains, there would have to be more sand grains than stars! The number of stars in our galaxy is around 100 billion or 10^11 in exponential notation. The number of sand grains on earth is probably somewhere between 10^20 and 10^24. The number of sand grains on earth is therefore much greater than the number of stars in our galaxy. However, our galaxy is only one of about 100 billion in the visible universe, and so the total number of stars we know about is around 10^22, which is kind of in the same ballpark as the number of grains of sand on earth. Of course, those numbers are much bigger than we can count - I'm not sure whether better estimates of both numbers would give more stars, or more sand grains - there's a lot of both!
How do we come up with this?
You can actually estimate it. Assume an average sand grain has a diameter of 0.2 mm and it is approximately round. Calculate its volume (lets say its 0.03 cubic mm). Assume that a pile of sand has 50 % empty space between grains (it's just a ballpark figure). So, for every cubic mm, there is maybe 15 or 20 grains? (0.03*15 = 0.45 cubic mm, the other half is air or water).
There are 1000 * 1000 * 1000 cubic mm in a cubic meter. A cubic meter then has about 15 billion grains. Can you believe this?
Then calculate how many cubic meters of sand are in a beach. Take a small beach, that is one kilometer long by 150 meters wide (low to high tide plus some), and guess it is 5 meters deep (who knows if this estimate is even close). so whats that, 750,000 cubic meters. Hmm that seems like a lot of precious thoughts for YOU. Multiply that by the number of grains in one cubic meter and there you are.
So I'd say an average small beach, like one you might see on the coast in Maine or New Hampshire, has a few quadrillion grains of sand. Did you follow that? God has 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 precious thoughts of us Let's see that's about a billion Terabytes of precious thoughts.
Let’s do a comparison:
Since 1999, how many emails have been sent in the whole world?
Can you guess?
Well…11,265 Terabytes per year which is WAY less than a Billion Terabytes of precious thoughts for YOU. Now multiply that by how many people have lived in all the ages. This statement is for YOU alone and personally. God has this many precious thoughts for each one of us!!!
When we start to pray, we need to marvel and worship “Our Father”. Next article we will press further into the Lord’s Pattern for Intimacy. Till next time meditate on this simple yet profound truth and allow it to embrace your heart!