I once had the opportunity to listen to an elderly man living in a nursing home reflect on his younger life. He told me about being an 18 yr. old boy in Belgium. Cold and frightened, he sat next to a truck in the dead of winter contemplating his next move. His company was headed towards some heavy action and fear consumed him. More than consumed him, it paralyzed him and he could not move.
The longer he sat motionless, the more his fear took control of his body. He decided he needed to pray, but couldn’t decide what words to use. Eventually, he prayed, “Lord, no matter what happens this day, let me be with you in heaven.” As he finished the prayer, his body became warm. His fear subsided and he never felt afraid again.
He told me the story because he knew the journey he was facing in the nursing home had a final destination and he was afraid. So I prayed with him the Lord’s Prayer, focusing on the words, thy kingdom come. God’s kingdom is going to come whether we want it to or not, but when we pray these words we pray that it may come to us.
We are living in a time of heightened fear. If we cannot find it, we go looking for it or try to create it on our own. We use bullets, words, even Facebook posts to try and rob each other of hope. Today, consider praying the Lord’s Prayer. When you pray these words remember, God’s kingdom and will comes without our prayer, but in these words, we pray they may come to us. May it help you experience hope in a world of fear.
(Mt. 6: 7-15)