Teach us to pray

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11 October 2017

In the Gospel passage today, Jesus is asked by his disciples to teach them to pray. Time and again, Luke tells us that Jesus could be found praying.

The disciples wanted to be closer to God, and in Jesus, they saw how this could be achieved. When they watched Him, they saw a life entirely dedicated to and in communion with God.

Similar to the disciples we know that prayer is fundamental to our relationship with God and we understand that like any relationship, we need to spend time in it for it to flourish and grow. However even though we sincerely desire all that prayer has to offer, often we struggle.

Most of us have the Our Father memorized. But how often do we really pray the words, how often do we mull over the meaning?

The Church Fathers have said that this prayer is the matrix on which all prayer should be based. Jesus says when you pray, pray like this. In other words, let this be your model for all other prayers

“Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name.”

When in my own heart, I hallow – honour – God above all, then I become rightly ordered. To pray – “Lord bring me in line with You as the highest good. Your will be done – not mine, not my agenda but yours.” This notion, this perspective in prayer is fundamental.

“Thy Kingdom come.”

Throughout history, nations and ideologies rise and fall. Today’s ‘progressive’ movement that screams for submission will soon enough be an archaic footnote. A rising ‘superpower’ will one day be an irrelevance. None of this really matters because Jesus’ Kingdom is coming and unlike every other ruler, He delivers on His promises.

Meanwhile, we need Your help Lord – “deliver us…”

We pray to beg God for help in this valley of tears. We pray to keep us focused on the wonder of who He is. We pray to remind ourselves that no matter what may happen to us now, our lives are on an immortal, glorious trajectory as long as we hold fast to Him.

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

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