Updated: Dec 13, 2019
Jesus would frequently find moments to pray in the regular rhythms of life. He’d slip away from large crowds. He’d tell his closest friends that he’d catch up with them later. He’d wake up early, or sometimes stay up late. So when his apprentices finally noticed his "prayer habit", they realized that Jesus seemed to be leaning into something profoundly important. And so they felt compelled to ask something of him: “teach us to pray”.
It was the one and only time the disciples asked that Jesus “teach” them to do something. They had seen him do so many extraordinary things, but they never asked him to teach them to give sight to the blind or cast out demons - they only ever asked him to “teach" them to pray. Could it be that these first-hand witnesses of Jesus’ power noticed that every amazing, supernatural thing he ever did was rooted in prayer?
So Jesus teaches them… to P R A Y.
If you don’t know where to start, start here: “Our Father”. Jesus takes a moment to reorient himself toward who is talking with: a loving, compassionate, committed, faithful, thoughtful, fully present Abba. Reorienting his heart and mind to identify the One to whom he prays sets the tone for everything else that follows. “Hallowed be your name,” he says. It’s Jesus' way of reorienting his view of his Father as set apart from anything and everything that has ever existed. It's not just that he's more loving, compassionate, committed, faithful, thoughtful, and present than anyone, but He is all those things in a way that is indescribably different... it’s “otherly”.
So as he models a prayer for us, before sharing anything or asking for anything or thanking God for anything, Jesus shows us that we're invited to reorient our hearts and minds to recognize the extraordinarily uniqueness of the Father to whom we pray.
OUR PRACTICE FOR THIS WEEK:
SEE YOUR FATHER...
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)
As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. (Psalm 18:30)
And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for he is a God of justice. (Psalm 50:6)
The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. (Psalm 116:5)
Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. (Psalm 68:9)
Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. (Micah 7:18)
For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. (2 Samuel 22:32)
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)
What are some things you want TO talk WITH God about?
(ie: a need, a feeling...)
Re-orient Your heart as YOU pray.
Consider using this prompt: "God I know that you are _____, and so I pray ____..."