Praying Jesus' Prayer

May 10th, 2013
Image © by banichiji| Flickr | Used under Creative Commons license.

"Pray like this..." Matthew 6:9a

For a year during my twenties I worked as a barista at a well­ known coffee shop. Before I began working, I knew little about coffee and even less about how to operate an espresso machine. But over time, others carefully trained me. I was told, "Steam the milk like this," or "Make sure the espresso shots last between 17 and 22 seconds," or "Drizzle the caramel in this pattern." Through repetition, I learned and perfected many of the skills required to make excellent coffee beverages.

Likewise, it may be the case that you know very little about prayer. But, perhaps a bit like crafting a coffee beverage, prayer is a learned skill. With encouragement and careful instruction, by God's grace we can acquire this skill.

Some of us feel inadequate or perhaps even foolish when we pray. We struggle to pray on our own, and if asked to pray before a group we are terrified! However, we can learn to pray not only from others in our church community but also from Jesus himself.

Today's Scripture is from Matthew 6. Open a Bible and find the passage. Jesus says, "Pray like this," and then he provides us with what we know as the Lord's Prayer. If you know it by heart, then you have obtained a very helpful guide for learning how to pray, not in repeating Jesus's words but in adopting the themes present there for other concerns.

Jesus tells his disciples to petition the Father, asking that the Kingdom be present among them, thus "hallowing," or making holy, God's name. He instructs them to ask for daily provision of food and forgiveness, as well as a generous heart that extends forgiveness to others. He encourages them to ask God to watch over their paths, leading them away from pitfalls and tempta­tions, and lastly, to trust all things to God's care.

Jesus has given you a pattern to follow. Learn from it.

Lord Jesus, teach me to pray, so that I may come before you with confidence. I am assured of your acceptance, as you have welcomed me by your tremendous grace. May I bask in that acceptance and speak my heart before you as one who is confident of being beloved. May my prayers express my deep love for you, my commitment to you, and my willingness to live for you. Amen.

Taking a Step

  • How would you describe your prayer life? There is always room for growth. God will provide the grace neeeded to take a step forward.
  • Consider how you might make prayer a habit.
  • Write out your plan in a journal, or on a piece of paper.

excerpt from: Committed to Christ: 40 Devotions for a Generous Life by Ben Simpson Copyright©2012 by Abingdon Press. Used with permission.

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