When you pray ...

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”

This remembrance of the Lord's prayer in Luke is a bit different than the one in Matthew. Perhaps Jesus taught it at a different time. I get the idea in the gospels that he sometimes rendered the same teaching to different audiences. Even so, the essentials of worship, intercession, petition, forgiveness and leadership all remain. In it Jesus calls us to:
  • Call God "Father" - is there a sweeter word for God in any language?
  • See Him as a king as we ask for His reign in our lives and in our world.
  • Acknowledge God as the one each day who provides for our needs.
  • Bow before the Lord as people who have been forgiven a great debt.
  • Understand our need to not only be forgiven but to forgive everyone.
  • Seek His leadership knowing that our flesh is weak under temptation.
These sentences speak to me of how God longs to hear us speak to him in prayer. They remind me that God is close enough to us to hear each word we utter. And they shout out, from the pages of holy writ, that our Father loves his children with an everlasting love. How can we not be faithful to bear our hearts in prayer to a God such as our Father.

Father, help us today to pray the heart of the words and sentences that you have taught us here.

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