Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Atmosphere of Heaven.

Last Sunday I gave a lesson on reverence. What an eye opener it was for me. I have always tried to help my kids understand that reverence is more than just folding your arms and keeping quiet in church; sometimes with more success than others. I love what Margaret S. Lifferth said in a conference this spring:
"remember, if reverence is rooted in love, so is the teaching of it. Harshness in our training begets resentment, not reverence.......Remember that we are not only teaching a child his first lessons in reverence, but the child may be mastering his first attempts at self-discipline.......self-mastery is not only the root of self-respect, it is essential in inviting the Spirit to teach, confirm, and testify.”
With so much at stake it's not surprising that it has been said that, "reverence is one of the highest qualities of the soul", and that " Reverence is the atmosphere of heaven." (Howard W. Hunter) This intrigues me....atmosphere, that which surrounds every part of us, that which we depend on not only for our life breath but for the life of all around us. But if we must start somewhere, what better place than how we address Him whom we revere.
“Probably no other words in the Lord’s Prayer have been so frequently slurred and overlooked as ‘Hallowed be thy name.’ They lie … ,” as one writer said, “in the valley between the great name of God and the glorious Kingdom for which we are looking and waiting. We slide over them as though they were only a parenthesis and hasten on to ask for bread and deliverance from our greatest foe.” (Charles Edward Jefferson, Character of Jesus)
Jesus was careful to place the petition “Hallowed be thy name” at the very forefront of his prayer. Unless that reverent, prayerful, honorable attitude toward God is uppermost in our hearts, we are not fully prepared to pray. If our first thought is of ourselves and not of God, we are not praying as Jesus taught. It was his supreme hope that our Father’s name and station would be kept beautiful and holy. Living always with an eye single to the glory of God, he urged men everywhere to so speak, and act, and live, that others seeing their good works might glorify their Father in heaven. ~Howard W. Hunter

In the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan (free download for July) the suggestion is given to stop praying....take a minute and acknowledge to whom you are speaking. As Moses on Mount Sinai, was first commanded to remove his shoes before conversing with the Lord, we too should prepare our minds and hearts to commune with our Father in Heaven.

Since we are commanded to "pray always" we should be living our lives so that we are always prepared for His presence.

In Psalm 46:10, when the Lord commands us to "Be still and know.." it is more of a commandment for our soul than our physical self. Some of my stillest moments have during intense movement....running in the early morning. Speaking of exercise, David O Mckay said this:
"Meditation is the language of the soul. It is defined as ‘a form of private devotion or spiritual exercise, consisting in deep, continued reflection on some religious theme.’ Meditation is a form of prayer.“Meditation is one of the most secret, most sacred doors through which we pass into the presence of the Lord”
All this has reminded me of a common phrase used by a good friend. She would always talk of her "daily walk with God." The idea wasn't foreign to me, but the wording was a little different than I was use to hearing, I love it; stating so simply the deep principals of reverence. This month I am joining a memorizing group hosted by Ann Kroeker. She offers a challenge to memorize something bigger than you ever have, to make it your own. This month I have chosen Romans 8 as a portion of my goal. Verse one fits in perfectly with all this that has been on my mind.

"Therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

Care to join me for a walk?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your thoughts on this talk. I will be teaching Sis. Lifferth's talk in RS in two weeks.

    I just read the July Ensign article about a family who memorized the Proclamation on the Family and was thinking about having our own family do that.


Please share your expressions!

Related Posts with Thumbnails