Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
Lord, Teach Us How to Pray
Prayer is the lifeline of the child of God. Jesus himself spent time in prayer as a regular practice. Recognizing the value that Jesus placed on prayer, his disciples wanted to learn how to pray. Jesus did not ask anyone to teach his disciples how to pray. He taught them himself.
This prayer, taught by Jesus, is a model prayer even for us today. In the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:1–4) Jesus highlights some crucial components of prayer. Essentially, he wants us to praise God; to understand that God provides daily; to be concerned with and practice forgiveness; and finally to be persistent in prayer.
Praising God sets the tone for communication with God and puts one in a frame of mind to worship God, as opposed to going shopping, just asking God for things. Jesus wants us to understand that God provides sustenance day by day, not weekly or monthly or on special occasions; we must daily draw from God’s abundance. Jesus advocates daily communication with God, not only asking, but giving thanks for blessings received.
Jesus also addresses the matter of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not an option. It is necessary, for self and for others. God has forgiven our sins; so it is only fair that a concerted effort is made to forgive all those who have wronged us. To forgive or be forgiven is to restore broken relationship with God and each other. It is important therefore not only to accept God’s forgiveness, but to practice forgiving each other, promoting love and reconciliation.
Jesus invites us to persistent prayer, understanding that God answers prayer. That’s why Jesus, knowing the importance of prayer, taught his disciples how to pray.
Eulencine Christopher, co-pastor
South Florida Moravian Pastorate