Friday, July 22, 2016
When Jesus taught his disciples about prayer, he gave them the words that we have come to know as the Lord’s Prayer. The prayer is so deeply woven into our life of worship that it’s easy to lose sight of what it continues to teach us. The instruction around prayer in Luke had little to do with technique. Eloquence is not the goal here. Prayer takes in the basic things of life like food, forgiveness and hope for the future. We pray for any number of reasons but the very act of praying brings not only our needs but our very selves into the reliable care of God. It’s all meant to be uncomplicated. It’s meant to bring simple expression of our deepest longing into God’s company.
Think of the places and times you find yourselves praying. From prayers shared within weekly worship to prayers in moments of solitude uniquely ours – we find a way to bring the real stuff of life into a place of mercy and light. It is both a speaking and a listening. It is a communication that is on-going, relational and bringing faith alive. Prayer can be difficult as we wonder about God’s response. It can be reassuring - a reminder of God’s promise to be present for us even when answers are hard to come by.
Luke made a connection between prayer and the gift of the Holy Spirit: how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! As Jesus encouraged the disciples to ask and seek, he drew their attention to the mystery and work of the Spirit. Like in so many things, Jesus broadens the view, widening the possibilities for a life of faith given over in service to others. If the Holy Spirit has something to do with prayer then prayer changes us.
What have we to offer? What have we to share?
Coins from the coffer, hearts filled with care.
God will not falter; so let us dare
lay it at the altar there.
- Offertory Hymn from Dakota Road
It seems that the best way to understand prayer is to pray. In the praying we participate in something larger than us, even peace that passes understanding! So as our weekly liturgy calls us to do… let us pray.