What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you think of prayer? If you ask people on the street this question, you might get a mixed review. Some may think of meditation; others may think of a more liturgical form of prayer like praying the rosary,;others may think of a more private conversation. No matter what comes to mind, the fact is, we all believe in praying.
In a recent survey done by Barna on religious practices, prayer is a pretty significant part of the weekly practices of most people. (1) It reported that the praying trends of religion people had remained steady at just around 75% or religious people engaged in a weekly prayer routine. In some religious affiliations that number was about 95%. However, what was interesting was that even non-religions people engaged in weekly prayer around 22%. It seems to that no matter what one’s religious affiliation or non-religions affiliation, we believe prayer is an important part of our life.
Jesus also believed prayer was important in life. One Bible scholar said, “The more I have studied Jesus in his historical setting, the more it has become clear to me that this prayer sums up fully and accurately, albeit in a very condensed fashion, the way in which he read and responded to the signs of the times, the way in which he understood his own vocation and mission and invited his followers to share it. This prayer, then, serves as a lens through which to see Jesus himself, and to discover something of what he was about.” (2) Jesus lived a life of prayer as evidenced by the many times he was engaged in and taught on prayer.
In fact, one of the most well-known prayers in the Bible is a lesson on prayer. In Luke 11:1, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. Jesus response to this request, The Lord Prayer.
Yes, the Lord’s Prayer is a lesson on how to pray. The Lord’s Prayer invites us to engage in a sacred conversation with God, where we learn to pray as Jesus prayed. Have you ever wondered how you could make prayer a more significant part of your life? Well if so this teaching series if for you.
“Lord, Teach us to Pray” is a 7-part series that will examine Jesus teaching the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6 and invite us into a sacred conversation with God.
Barna Trends 2018: What's New and What's next at the Intersection of Faith and Culture. Baker Books, 2017.
Wright, Tom. The Lord and His Prayer. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1996. Print.
Jesus started his on lesson prayer out with the words “Our Father.” This is a title that Jesus was uniquely qualified to use. However, He is not engaged in private prayer for himself; he is giving his follower an example on how to pray. Our Prayer time is a sacred invitation to know God and his plan for us.
Hallowed be thy name
Hallowing the name of God in prayer was common practice in the Old Testament, but seems to be foreign to the modern idea of prayer. Prayer seems much more like a trip to the grocery store than it does a form of worship. This week we learn that by hallowing God’s name in prayer, we gain confidence that God is who he says he is.