Lord, Teach us to Pray
Lord, Teach us to Pray: A Lenten Journey with Jesus
One day Jesus’ disciples found him “praying in a certain place.” “Lord, teach us to pray,” they asked.
Their request surprises us. After all, they knew how to pray -- they’d been doing it their whole lives. But something about Jesus' prayer life was qualitatively different than their own. His disciples could sense it, so they asked him, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
In response to their question, Jesus said, “When you pray say, 'Our Father which art in heaven….'”
Could he have been any more direct? Clearly, Jesus expected his followers to pray what we now call “The Lord’s Prayer.” And they did: from that day forward, millions of Jesus’ disciples have prayed the Lord's Prayer on a daily basis.
I wonder: How often do you pray the Lord’s Prayer?
Tomorrow (Wednesday, February 22) is the first day of Lent, an ancient tradition of the church as it anticipates Jesus’ death on Good Friday.
Lent is ...
- A focused time of repentance and reflection
- A daily discipline of penitence and preparation
- A loving practice of physical and spiritual self-denial
As a way of walking this Lenten path together, I’d like you to join me -- and our church family -- in a special season of prayer as we journey with Jesus toward Good Friday. And what could be better than to pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray?
Let us make a private pact with one another -- and with Jesus -- that between now and Easter we will pray the Lord’s Prayer three times a day.
To modify an old camp song, let us:
Pray it in the morning when we see the sun arising
Pray it in the evening ‘cause he took us through the day
And in the in-between time when we feel the pressure coming
Remember that he loves us and he promises to stay
Morning, noon and night. What do you say? Will you join me and the rest of our church family as we practice these rhythms of prayer together? I trust you will, for I’m certain that as we do so, God will work meaningfully and powerfully in our hearts.
To encourage us on our journey, I will send one or two emails per week with a devotional reflection on the various phrases of the Lord’s Prayer. The first one will come tomorrow morning. Look for it as you begin your day.
In the meantime, perhaps you’ll get a head start by joining me this evening in saying the prayer Jesus taught us to pray:
Our Father which art in heaven
Hallowed by thy name
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done
On earth, as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil
For thine is the kingdom, and the power
and the glory forever and ever.