July 28, 2019: The Personal Nature of Prayer

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

We are not unlike the disciples. We too want to know how to pray “correctly,” using the right words, the right rituals. We want the assurance that God listens favorably, so we may approach God freely and with peace.

Prayer had become complicated, something the priest did on behalf of the people. But the disciples witnessed Jesus praying often, and it was personal. “Teach us to pray,” they asked. And we’ve been saying the Lord’s Prayer ever since. This is one of the Christian expressions that we share unaltered with all Christians. But has it become so routine that we don’t think about what it means to us personally?

Take time to ponder each phrase of this prayer. Write down your thoughts. How might your heart make it fresh and personal? An example might look like this:

Breath of all living, whose true self dwells in the heart of all creation,
you are Holy, beyond comprehension yet intimately known.
May the desire of your heart be the reality of our living.

Make us mindful of your abundant generosity, to share what we have with those who have not.
May we find life in your forgiveness for ourselves and for others.
May the distractions of life not overwhelm us but invite us to see you in their presence.

For the desire of your heart is our desire, the power that we share is your power, the glory that we celebrate is your glory in every eternal moment.

Like you, your prayer will be unique. It may follow Jesus’ words or be completely different. There’s no right or wrong way to pray. It’s the desire to pray that makes it prayer.

Rick Beck, pastor, Good Shepherd Moravian Church
Calgary, Alberta