How, then, should we pray? It’s the only thing the first disciples are recorded to have asked Jesus to teach them. The only thing.
Nowhere do they ask Jesus to teach them how to lead or counsel. They don’t ask him how to preach or heal or write a Bible study. They don’t ask how they can optimize their investment portfolio or unlock the mystery of God’s will for their lives. Simply, “how, then, should we pray?”
Why? My suspicion is that the disciples quickly realized that the life Jesus lived was no accident. His motivations and actions, his sense of identity and purpose, were nurtured not on the fly, not in the classroom, but in the stillness of prayer.
How then should we pray, they ask. It’s as much a question for us today as it was for the first disciples. So, Jesus answers, giving us His Prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, in Matthew 6:9-13.
At the Men’s Retreat we were encouraged to write this prayer in our own words. Here’s where my heart wandered:
Bring your reputation and fame to the whole earth;
Bring your world, your ways to us here today;
May everything be the way you want it to be:
Heaven on Earth
Give us what we really need today, because only you have it.
Forgive us where we’ve wronged you;
today I choose to forgive those who’ve wronged me.
Protect us from all that darkens your light;
and release me from the grip of evil that so easily entangles.
This week, perhaps, something to add to your rhythm is to write out the Lord’s Prayer in your own words. What line sticks out to you? Take a moment to pray this line through a few times. What is God saying to you? How is he directing you to receive what you’re praying for?
May Jesus bless you richly with himself as you continue to cultivate life with him.
Keith works as the Associate Pastor of Discipleship and Pastor of Young Adults at North Shore Alliance Church. His wife Gina and their two kids, Sofia and Luca, call Lynn Valley home and never want to leave. If he's not in a coffee shop he's probably on a soccer pitch somewhere.