The hardest part of the prayer

It's a beautiful day in West Michigan.  The sun is perfectly warm today; not beating down with the relentless heat of last week, but shining bright and gentle on our faces.  It is a beautiful summer day. 

But remember February?  Remember the clouds and the grey and the wind and the snow?  

I don't really want to remember it either.  Living in West Michigan people often joke about two seasons: winter and road construction.  I live with two different seasons: summer and ugh-don't-remind-me.  

But when it comes to last winter, you can remind me because there's something I do want to remember.  The love and the fellowship and the fundraising success we experienced.  2012 has been a season of summer and wow-we-were-blessed. 

And if you'll remember, way back in February we had an online auction.  One item- the item with the highest bid- sold for $500 and blessed us big time.  That "item" was the ability to choose a passage for John to preach this summer.  

Don't laugh, but John's parents won it.  (Okay you can laugh a little.  We did.) We thought it would be a really fun item for our church friends to bid over, to have a little back-and-forth, but John's parents in their typical generous style laid down the auction hammer in one amazing bid.  $500.  Boom.  Man I love my in-laws.

(John (& me) being prayed over at his ordination. Spring 2010)

The big question: what passage did they choose??  Matthew 6:9-13: The Lord's Prayer. 

Can I admit that I felt a little ho-hum about this passage choice?  I mean- great passage, but I've probably heard a sermon a year on this passage for my entire life.  How many new ways can a person talk about the Lord's Prayer?  I didn't think it was going to be terrible, but I didn't think it was going to be on of John's best sermon's either.

Well color me wrong.  

He knocked it out of the park.  Yes I'm a little biased but boy can my husband PREACH.

Favorite quote:

"The hardest part of the prayer for anybody: 'Thy will be done...'

 As Christians we are very much conformists when it comes to Christ.  We are taking our will- that we try to get our way with everything, that we try and figure out how to get our plan, our ideas, the way we want to run our family all the time.  And this part of the prayer is surrendering.  And it's saying: you know what?  I've been using my will long enough. And it's time for someone else to use their will. God, it's not about my dreams for my family, it's not about my dreams for the world, it's not about my dreams for this budget.  It's about God's will being done."

You've got to take a few minutes and listen to this sermon.   It is worth the time; I promise. 

Enjoy the sermon, enjoy the weather, and know that as I turn my face to the beautifully warm sun, I am still reveling in the blessing of this winter.



  1. Ben asks to recite the Lord's prayer every night. He just loves it. Although he gets many of the archaic words wrong. (Trespassing sounds something like fresh passing). We talked the other night about how it's "thy will" not "my will". Once I explained that "thy" is just a special word for yours, I saw his light bulb flick on. "Oh! God's way? Okay!" So thankful that God would use his child's faith to inspire me nightly. Even if he's still pretty sure God's name is Art.

    1. This made my heart jump. It is just amazing to see how God works to form the faith of children! Thank you so much much for sharing and for the laugh!

  2. This was such an encouragement I needed today! Thank you so much. I'm putting the sermon on my "to-do list".

    1. So glad this post encouraged you Abby! Hope the sermon blesses you too (and I have a feeling it will!) xo

  3. Sherri7/15/2012

    Thank you so much for posting this!! I loved it!! I'm travelling for work this week (in Atlanta) and I'm not able to attend a service this morning. This was a great way to start my Sunday. God bless your husband, he can preach it!! - Sherri Risser

    1. My husband always calls Atlanta "HOT-LANTA!" Ha! So happy to hear that you enjoyed the sermon and that it could bless you as your travel. Enjoy your time in hot-lanta and I will tell John you enjoyed the sermon! He'll be so pleased. Thanks Sherri!


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