Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Narrow Gate

2 kings 19; Matthew 7:6,12-14

We encounter a strange reality in the first reading.  The King of Assyria has just sent a messenger to the king of Israel, Hezekiah, basically telling him that doom is on the horizon.  The King of Assyria tells the king of Israel that he is coming and there is nothing that can be done to avoid the inevitable that is destruction and bondage.

The king of Israel, rather than form him self a strategy team and gather the troops for defense or reach out to others to make alliance, rather than gathering his elite soldiers in his war room he goes to the temple.

He goes to the war room of prayer.  He prostrates himself before the Lord and prays.  His prayer is beautiful.  What is so amazing about it is that he makes his prayer about God, his request about God, not about himself, "Therefore, O LORD, our God, save us from the power of this man, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God."

He makes his prayer about God.  God is at the center of his prayer not himself or even his nation.

How often when we pray we make our prayer about ourselves rather than about God?  How often we pray with our selves at the center rather than God being at the center?

It is worth investigating.

The next time we pray, see if we can make the prayer about God and not about us, about how God will reveal himself through the prayer rather than just getting what we want.

Jesus tells us in the gospel about the narrow gate.  What is the narrow gate other than the mercy of God.  It is not about our successes or achievement or any merit of our own.  All we have in the end is God's mercy offered and received.  The is how we know we are on the narrow path, our focus is on the mercy of God and how it leads us forth.

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