“The Lord’s Prayer is our treasure map. The obstacles our hearts are our hearts and the pain inflicted by others. But the outcome will be freedom, joy, peace, healing, hope, and our fortress broken down.” Mary DeMuth
In The Wall Around Your Heart, Mary Demuth uses the eleven phrases of Lord’s Prayer to pray for our relationships. I had never thought of the Lord’s Prayer in this way before, so I found it intriguing and refreshing. She offers many relational insights on how to dismantle the wall around you heart and ends with the challenge to live with an open heart.
One of the phrases of the Lord’s Prayer is “And don’t let us yield to temptation.” The chapter on this phrase made me re-think how I can fall into relational problems because of subtle temptations that can cripple our relationships.
These temptations can be hazardous:
- the temptation to fear relationships.
- the temptation to believe the first story you hear.
- the temptation to defend ourselves.
- the temptation to give up.
- the temptation to misplace our trust.
As I considered these statements, I confess that I have yielded to these temptations at different times. When I’ve been hurt, the wall around gets thicker, and there is fear about future relationships. I retreat into isolation, vowing not to get involved with friendships any more. When I’ve been misunderstood, I want to defend my actions. When my trust has been broken, I struggle to trust again even though it’s a different situation with different people. With each scenario, the wall around my heart gets thicker.
But I thank God that He won’t let me stay that way. He helps me remember that we each are created with a need for personal connection, for community. God draws me back again to His love, gently healing my heart once more. The wall breaks down. By His grace I can reach out again when I’d rather not. His love provides the courage and motivation to love others. That is the beginning of open-hearted living.
The Wall Around Your Heart offers relational insights and the grace to have an open heart. When we step into open-hearted living, free from bitterness and past hurts, we are more likely to expand the kingdom of God through His love.
“Let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7 NIV