Date: Saturday, September 28
Scripture: Matthew 6:7-15
Verse: Pray then in this way (Matthew 6:9a)
Tony Campolo used to tell a story about prayer. He talked about how when his son would come up to him to ask him to use the car, he didn’t say, “O Father, you who art Dean of the Sociology Department at Eastern College; provider of the roof over my head, the food in my belly, and the clothes on my back – I beseech thee that I might have our family automobile for this evening.” Instead his son would just day, “Dad, can I borrow the car?” His point was that we often complicate prayer. We try to say the “right” thing, rather than pouring out our hearts before God.
In one of the sermons in this series, Pastor Bob talked about his pastor friend from Georgia whose southern accent was replaced by an english one when he prayed. I have known other pastors who have gone into what a seminary professor called the “holy hush” when they pray – making their prayers almost inaudible. I’m currently reading a book from the 1950s which includes a prayer at the opening of each chapter. The prayers are in King James English. The chapters are not. These and more examples of prayer can give us anxiety when we fold our hands, bow our heads, and begin to talk to God.
For the past several weeks we have been looking at the prayer we know as The Lord’s Prayer. It is just six short sentences in Matthew, yet as we have been learning, it says so much about Jesus’ entire ministry. But as we prepare to close out this series, let us to remember again that Jesus used this prayer as an example of how we ought to pray – simply and from the heart.
May we pray as Jesus taught us, like a child talking to a parent. May we ask for what we need, check-in on what has happened and how we feel about it, and share our love. May we also be people of words as well as action – working for what we pray for.
Prayer: Thank you God for today. Amen.
Action: Consider starting a prayer journal where you will record your prayers.
Respond: How has your prayer life changed over the past several weeks? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
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