Forty Days of Prayer March 5, 2013
Life is full of learning. Every time you learn one new thing, it raises two new questions in your mind that you would like to find the answer. Prayer is no different. In fact prayer is not something you learn in Seminary, it is something that is learned living and speaking each day with the Lord. In fact one thing the disciples asked Jesus to do for them was to teach them to pray.
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1)
Jesus prayed different than anyone else. We know he often went away by himself to pray but He also prayed in front of the disciples. I am sure that is what is happening in this passage and they hear Jesus praying unlike anything they have ever heard. He addressed the Father in a way that challenged the disciples understanding of all things. They wanted to be able to pray like Jesus prayed. After this Jesus also taught a shorter version of the Lord’s prayer.
We all want to pray better. Maybe you have heard the story of a father listening to his small child pray, “Dear Jesus, a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, …” The father asked the child why pray with her abc’? Jesus know his letters, she said. He can spell just the right words. Remember in the silence of prayer Jesus does spell just the right words.
Maybe the reason prayer is also hard is because it is always a mixture of emotion and reason. It involves every part of the brain. For this reason we can be at a loss for words. The first question I ask couples in premarital counseling is why do you want to marry this person sitting next to you? This is not an easy question. The reasons are usually too numerous to say (if it is the right person) and some answers are reasonable and some are emotional. What do you say in a few words that convey everything involved? One cannot say it all. I think it is the same with prayer. We cannot say it all, but we thank God that Jesus knows just the right words.
In Christ’s Service, Pastor Dave
Lord teach us to pray. Sometimes we fail to pray because we do not know what to say. Sometimes we do not pray because we make ourselves too busy. Lord, teach us to pray and help us make the time to pray. Amen.