No "I" In Team

May 4, 2000
by Michael Steckel

Matthew 6:9 – This is how you should pray: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name." (NIV)

I really enjoy playing tennis. I am a fair singles player. During a tournament one year I wanted to play in the doubles division. So I asked a friend of mine, who is also a pretty good singles player, if he would join me for the doubles. I figured that we might have a good chance of winning, because we had good speed and we hit the ball pretty well. I was soon proved wrong in our first match. We got spanked pretty soundly. The reason was that we were not a team yet. We were playing as individuals, and this was a great disadvantage for us on the court. We needed to function as one — not as two people trying to win. So I learned a good lesson in playing doubles.

This was also a good lesson for me in my spiritual life. It is important to remember that as Christians we are part of God's family. We are not individuals doing our own thing, but we are now the family of God doing God's will. I notice that when Jesus taught us to pray he said, "Our Father" — not "My Father". Using "our" implies possession by a group. So it is our Father because we are part of God's family. We are called to work together for the glory of God — not against each other.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, sometimes we forget that we are on a team, and that we are a part of your family. We like to do things our own way, but we pray that we may all work together to do your will and bring you glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Michael Steckel
Fairbanks, Alaska, USA

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