As a Pastor, I have the privilege of officiating many weddings. Over the past 16 years, I think I have officiated over 100 of them. It is one of the great perks of pastoring, to get to be close to people in the most significant moments of their lives (and get to point them to Jesus in the process).
My role also allows me to attend many wedding receptions . . . and often times there is a dance floor and DJ ready to pump up the jam. If the wedding has a good DJ, eventually most people spend at least some time on the dance floor. Is it because most people have an inner Michael Jackson waiting to moonwalk across the stage of life? Is it because Gloria Estefan was right, and eventually the “Rhythm is Gonna Get You”? Or is it because the DJ knows there are a few songs EVERYONE will dance to? I am going with the latter. Want proof?
It starts with the Village People’s “YMCA.” People begin moving to the dance floor when this song comes on. Anyone left behind on that song will be drawn offsides by the “Cupid Shuffle.” And anyone who still has not busted a move will be on their feet for the “Cha Cha Slide.” What do these 3 songs have in common? They tell you what to do . . . and people feel more confident to improvise during the verse if they know they can be on cue during the chorus.
Think about it . . . even your Grandma can spell letters with her arms, your Dad can follow cues like “to the left, to the left, to the left, to the left . . ,” and your middle school cousin understands “now stomp three times!” Songs that give us basic direction, inspire us to action.
Now, why am I going into this kind of detail? Many people have been invited to the Christian life. Many even have gone to the altar and connected with Jesus as their Savior. However, prayer is sometimes a challenge for people in their Christian life. Knowing this, Jesus addressed the topic of prayer with very specific instruction.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says (in Matthew 6:5-8) that He wants us to free flow from the heart in prayer to God with our minds engaged. However, this instruction alone (though encouraging) does not really help us “get on the dance floor” in prayer. So Jesus teaches us a structured “line dance” prayer for our chorus, so that we might improvise prayer in the verses of everyday life.
This structured prayer is the Lord’s prayer. In it Jesus gives us an easy to remember 6 point prayer pattern . . . basic direction to inspire us to action. This prayer is recorded in Matthew 6:9-15 and we will be looking at this prayer in depth at Wildwood Community Church on Sunday morning as we continue our series on the Sermon on the Mount. If you are someone who has struggled over time with how or what to pray, join us Sunday as we see Jesus get us moving with rhyme and reason. See you Sunday, June 25 in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 service!