Recovering a sense of dependence on God through prayer
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The emergence of Vanuatu as an independent nation in 1980 brought both positive and negative results. The concerns of this paper discussed two negative results. The two negative results were described as "outward looking" self and "inward looking" self The former emerged from the traditional island culture and relates to the spirit world and the latter emerged from the modern culture and relates to the intellectual world. This came about as Vanuatu looked back to its traditional cultures to find its own status and identity, and in so doing recovered traditional beliefs and practices, that rely on spirits and custom power. On the other hand, in looking forward for the development of the new nation, Vanuatu embraced and emphasized modern Western education as a tool and key to development. In so doing a newly educated self emerged, who is self centered and capable. The self that sees no need of God or reliance on him because the inward looking self is capable to be self-reliant (independent).
This development created a tension, leading to a greater challenge in daily prayer and the mission of the local church. There is disconnection in life. What has happened is not helping but hindering our nation building and the mission of the church. This is a serious concern that I addressed in the thesis focusing as a partial solution on recovering a sense of dependence on God through prayer.
The Lord's Prayer recorded in Matthew 6:9-13, has been reflected upon with particular focus on the address "Our Father" as prayer that implies our relationship with the Father, and with each other through his Son Jesus Christ. In receiving Jesus and belief on his name we are given power to become children of God. As children we are one with the Son as first born from the dead. Thus by faith we identify with the Son in his death and resurrection and acquire from him all the benefits of his life, death and resurrection. The old self is crucified and we are made new persons. It is therefore, my thesis that prayer provides a Christian, coherent relationship between the indigenous cultures and modern Western education, and provides a connection between the disconnections. For in prayer we relate to God our Father and rely on him who is Creator and is still at work. It is in him that we live and move and have our being. In prayer Christ has taught us to put God's concerns first and our concerns second and as we rely on him he meets our every need. In prayer we unite and we identify ourselves with Jesus whose death and resurrection met our outward and inward reliance connecting us with the Father and empowering us with the Holy Spirit. Thus transforming people's outward reliance to the only one who is the source of all life. Inward looking people look to the Holy Spirit who dwells within and empowers them for witness. We must live not for ourselves, but for God and his purpose in life for it is through Christ that we find our true self Therefore, we should live as his people who depend on God alone for their needs. We do this by prayer. We are not independent; we are God dependent.