Luke 11:2 NLT
Jesus said, “This how you should pray: ‘Father may your name be kept holy. May your kingdom come soon.’”
When Jesus was asked a simple question, “Teach us to pray”, he gave a simple and direct answer.
Jesus didn’t take 40 minutes to teach his disciples. A reading of the Lord’s Prayer takes no more than 20 seconds. Sermons of that length might revitalise church attendance figures! Jesus gives his disciples an easily understood message. Now, for all the books written on prayer, of which I have contributed three, Jesus communicated its heart in just 20 seconds.
Often when we approach prayer, we complicate it. We seek to create some experience that Jesus in no way describes or commends. He outlines a journey in a series of statements, which convey the movement through life that anyone who seeks to pray must take. Through our Novena over the remaining six days we shall explore each of those statements. Perhaps today the most important message is this. The way of following Jesus is simple. It is not shrouded in mystery or only available to the wise and educated. As Paul says, “God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise” (1 Corinthians 1:27, NIV).
There are some benefits that cannot be secured through an education. One of the most important things to discover and nurture is a capacity for relationship with others. And prayer is primarily about forming and then maintaining a relationship, or friendship, with God.
Let go of all the complicated thoughts and feelings you experience around prayer. You might even consider ditching your normal form of prayer if it has become unhelpful. Instead continue to pray the Lord’s Prayer daily and be open to simply pray in line with the pattern of this prayer, as a disciple taught by Jesus.
QUESTION: What practices around your own prayers are unhelpful and may need to be ditched?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you for making relationship with God a possibility.