Is everything in our new normal really new? Since the pandemic, we are told that life is never going to be the same and admonished to accept a “new normal” that will require many daily adjustments. No doubt we are finding that to be true as we submit to intrusive temperature checks, endless sanitizing, cumbersome masks, constant hand washings, colorful new circles to stand on, and several extra release forms to sign before our teeth are cleaned. As we adjust to a new normal for so many of our routines, there is comfort in knowing that some things have not changed.
Our prayers can still follow the model that Christ gave us in Matthew 6:9-13.
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the Kingdom and the Power, and the Glory forever.”
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…Give us this day our daily bread.”
We can continue to confidently claim that God is our Father; rest assured that he is still in heaven and without a shadow of a doubt that his name will always be hallowed. It is still true and right to express our longing for God’s Kingdom to be revealed and for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. We can continue to confess our dependence on God for daily bread…and toilet paper!
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Lead us not into temptation.”
Acknowledging our dire need of God’s forgiveness for our own sins will still awake us to our need to quickly offer forgiveness to others. We press on in our faith and take full advantage of the opportunity to pray and believe that God will not fail to keep us from falling into temptation. Our greatest temptations during this new normal may be to fear (Isaiah 41:10), or become anxious (Philippians 4:6), or to fret over evildoers (Psalm 37). It is certainly tempting to welcome these sins into our new normal days, but God has wanted to lead us away from those temptations long before Covid came along or looters filled the streets. If we gave in to those temptations before, then this is a prime time to leave them behind with other unhealthy habits.
“But deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the Kingdom and the Power, and the Glory forever.”
We can continue to pray to be delivered from evil and ask Christ to protect us from the schemes of wicked people. Our plea has not changed; we still want evil to be eradicated in our new normal. Our prayers can still be concluded by acknowledging that everything happening in our world will lead us closer to the day when God’s Kingdom will come with power and glory forever. To abide safely in his Kingdom is the coming new normal we long for most!
When so much is changing around us, we become more grateful than ever that God does not change. We can find great comfort in knowing that our old normal prayer life, if it follows Christ’s example, is still sufficient. God did not change when we entered a new normal. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In the midst of uncertain days, we can walk with confidence as we implement Christ’s model prayer, recognizing that it is the most important weapon needed to win a spiritual war. If the effective weapon of prayer was not part of our old normal, bringing it into our new normal daily routine is the most important step we can take for protection against our invisible enemies.
In Peter 4:7 we read that “The end of all things is near, therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can PRAY.”
Since the end of ALL things is near, we can rest assured that our new normal will not be new for long.
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