Many of us learned how to pray during our childhood years. We were taught to put our hands together before a meal, bedtime, and or a big decision to make. We learned that prayer is talking to God. And of course, we could talk to God anytime we want. We could pray to God in the middle of the night. God was there for us. God heard our prayers.
During the ministry of Jesus, our Lord was asked, “How do we pray?” Jesus didn’t give a heavy theology lesson or preach an eloquent sermon. He didn’t even offer a “fill-in-the-blank” template to follow. Instead he offered up a prayer we have come to know as “The Lord’s Prayer.” This prayer has become a basic foundation of our prayer life with God and others. I have been in many situations in which I wondered if I was making a connection with the people I was with. Once I said, “Our Father . . . ,” everybody joined in. There is something special about this prayer.
Now the Lord’s Prayer is actually found in three settings. The prayer is found in the Go spels of Matthew and Luke. The prayer is also found in a writing called, the “Didache,” that is not included in the Holy Scriptures. Matthew’s version (6:9-13) is the version we are most familiar with.
While the prayer can be understood in different ways, I believe, at its essence, the prayer is about the matters that were most important to Jesus. When we pray the prayer, we are making a connection with the major concerns in the life of our Lord. And because Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God, we are praying for what matters most to God.
During the month of November, I would like to take a closer look at the Lord’s Prayer with each of you. Starting November 8, I will work with Pastor Kristina to share a morning devotion via email that helps us understand the prayer better. We will methodically look at this wonderful way to connect with God.
My hope is that a better understanding of the prayer will provide a solid foundation to move into the Advent and Christmas seasons that follow. The last two years have been challenging and chaotic, we need to find common ways to come together!
Blessings to you! Scott