PRAYING THE BEATITUDES, PART 1
We’re in the midst of a desperate struggle, you know. On the surface of this earth’s old crust it appears as if the material is the only reality, but it goes much deeper than the simply observable. Important things always do. Our Life Trainer, Jesus, calls us to trek up a mountainside with Him for some essential training; it’s a sort of boot camp. We call it the ‘Beatitudes’, eight pithy directives that set the tone for His famous ‘Sermon on the Mount’. These eight maxims form the essence of the principles of living in the kingdom of heaven; this eternal kingdom, unseen as yet, requires elements of living foreign to earth’s fallen principles of ‘might is right’. Each begins with a revelation, the elements of true blessedness (say happiness if it helps you see the relevance) and couples it with an eternal reward.
It’s easy to read through the Beatitudes without thinking too much of their significance; there’s a rhythmic cadence about them that is a bit mesmerizing. Blessed are people with such-and-such characteristics, for they will receive so-and-so rewards. Memorizing the list can leave one a bit confused as to which reward goes with which characteristic.
I think it’s time to wrestle. Not only with the maxims, but it’s time to wrestle with God regarding them. No disrespect intended. The patriarch Jacob wrestled with God and was blessed for it. He was finally desperate enough to desire God’s blessing more than anything his grasping character had ever wanted before. Let’s take this training to a similar level. Let’s work through each of these eight directives in a way that brings us into the presence of God. Let’s move from discussion and memorization to wrestling with God Himself regarding these life-changing directives. Let’s pray the Beatitudes.
Read what the Gospel of Matthew records of the Beatitudes. Read them again. Mull it over in your mind. Taste the words, their sounds, their usage and their flavour.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Begin to pray for wisdom regarding their truths. Then we will begin to wrestle with them one by one. May God bless our endeavor.