How to Pray

Last Sunday, we had a lively Welcome Back worship service on the lawn, punctuated with a last-minute rain shower and a quick pivot to move our usual outdoor picnic indoors. Amy and I spoke of the importance of call — how God calls us individually and how God is calling us as a congregation amid a building crisis.

At the heart of discerning God’s call for our lives is prayer, an active, ongoing, direct conversation with God. We heard last week how Moses had a direct conversation to God, mostly protesting why he couldn’t accept God’s call and request for his life’s purpose. And God was like, “Yeah, yeah, you can protest all you want, but this is what you were meant to do. Stop protesting, trust me and trust yourself.”

It is essential to the heart of faith that we pray — individually and together.

This week, we will hear how Jesus taught his disciples to pray (Luke 11:1-13), following along with our Church School curriculum. Jesus gave what we now know as “The Lord’s Prayer” as the model for how we’re to pray — not just those exact words, but following along those sentiments:
Praising God’s “hallowed nature”
Seeking God’s will that it may “be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”
Asking for what we need, “our daily bread”
Forgiving others that we may receive forgiveness
Seeking God’s protection from temptation and evil.

Jesus also emphasized that we should ask exactly for what we want, saying:
Ask and you will receive.
Seek and you will find.
Knock and the door will be opened to you.
Everyone who asks, receives.
Whoever seeks, finds.
To everyone who knocks, the door is opened.

My guess is that we can come up with plenty of examples for when this hasn’t worked. We hoped with all our might that something would change or something bad would go away. So what did Jesus mean by this?

Come Sunday and we’ll sink into some prayerful time and ask these questions together.
We will also hold an after-worship conversation to hear thoughts and reactions to the building and spiritual challenges facing us at this time.
I look forward to being with you.

In faith,
Kent

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