Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I can remember commercials from years and years ago … can you?  Can you still hear annoying jingles in your head from things that haven’t been on TV or radio in a long time?  I still remember Cal Worthington and his dog spot, I remember that “Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should,” and I remember the clapper.

Do you know why they produce annoying commercials like that and play them over and over again?  Because it works.  It seeps into your brain and makes you stupid and obedient.  Even when we try to fight it, we often fall for it.

Here’s my challenge to you: do you have any commercials for God or love or discipleship?  If not, why not?  Now, I’m not necessarily talking about putting up lame billboards to get others to become Christians … I’m talking about commercials for yourself.

This is what the “Love Prayer” (see June 11 blog entry below) is all about.  Some of us are praying it, and some are trying to … several times a day.  What we’re learning is that it becomes kind of mechanical … like a silly ritual.  This is bad, because Jesus warned us not to let our prayers become repetitive and rote:
“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.”  Matthew 6:7

You know how some people say “The Lord’s Prayer” over and over again, as if magic would happen?  This is directly disobedient to Jesus!

But what we propose with our “Love Prayer” isn't chanting or saying a same prayer over and over just to have something mystical happen, but rather to pray it for a limited time (I’ve suggested 21 days) until it becomes soaked into our subconscious and changes our behavior.  This isn’t so much about trying to produce magic, as it is giving ourselves a little commercial a few times a day to remind ourselves of what we want to become automatic.

The bible is full of commercials.  Sometimes it’s a feast, like Passover, which is done to ‘remind’ us … there are lots of these things that are a bit repetitive.  Sometimes it’s even a direct invite to buy something:
I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.  Revelation 3:18

I’m hoping that you’ll start – or keep up – praying the “Love Prayer” several times a day for at least 21 days,  because it’s about combining your faith in God with a change of your own heart.  Prayer should ALWAYS be accompanied by action … otherwise, it’s just wishing.

As I pray this prayer, I find myself just reading off a piece of paper sometimes.  Then I’m tempted to feel guilty, or just to think it’s a waste of time.  But I know better.  What it is about really – is changing my own heart and changing my own behavior.  And I don’t know about you, but it takes me a while to develop new habits.  So if it’s weird just reading a prayer off a piece of paper, then so be it.  I’ll do whatever it takes to make me more like God wants me to be.

As for you – give it a try.  If it doesn’t work, then don’t pray the next prayer I’ll publish.  But DO find what works for you.  However tedious and boring or hard … persistence is a very powerful tool.  USE IT!  We all did hard things and unpleasant things in school … for what - to get a piece of paper (diploma)?  Why wouldn’t we also do even more to further God’s kingdom and righteousness?

Quit only when you’ve succeeded.  If it doesn’t work after 21 days, then change tactics.  Write a new commercial for yourself.  Take your shortcomings seriously, and correct them … whatever it takes.  Run to win.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks, I needed the reminder. I want to sincerely mean every word of the prayer every time I pray it... and I do, I want to become that mature in love and compassion. But when I pray it several times a day (4 on average) I find that I am speeding it up to get through it, letting my mind wander, etc... and that was bugging me. I still need to work on that, but reading this made me stop and think about WHY I'm doing it... do I just want to have a fancy, eloquent prayer time w/God? or do I want to change and start loving others the way God does? And the prayer helps soak it into your brain and saturate your thinking, so there's the answer, huh?
    (Thanks for the reminder!)