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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Learning to Pray


Luke 11:1

11 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

Early in my life I remember being taught to pray the blessing before a meal.  My mother showed me how to put my hands together, then she told me what to say.  It was the “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food.,” prayer that almost every child has said at one time or another.

At some point, when I was older, my mother stopped me from saying this familiar prayer, and said, “You are older now and you should say your own prayer.”  My younger siblings could continue praying the “God is great” prayer but I now needed to pray my own prayer; a prayer from my heart.  My mother had given me a model to follow and so I structured my own prayers around it.

Jesus gave His disciples a model to follow when they prayed.  We call it the Lord’s Prayer and we pray it together in church.  It unites us in prayer as Christians.  We normally repeat this prayer after the Pastoral Prayer as a way to close that prayer.

Prior to giving His disciples this example of prayer, Jesus warned them of rote, repetitive prayers that were meaningless (Matthew 6:7).  His intention was to give them this model of how to pray, but they were to use it to form their own, personal prayers that came from their hearts.

I am forever grateful to those who have taught me to pray.

“By His hands we all are fed, give us Lord our daily bread.”

Amen.


May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)


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