Monday, April 25, 2005

Lord, Teach Us To Pray

I'm back, pumpkin.

You know, I realized something very, very important: I'm really not qualified to teach you to pray. So, if in any way I've misguided you, I apologize. May God have mercy on me. And you, dearest.

I think all of us who belong to Jesus have the same longing. We want to know how to pray. It's an old, old human desire. The disciples felt this so intensely, that they asked Jesus, "Lord, teach us to pray. (Luke 11:1). Hank Hanegraaff, in his book The Prayer of Jesus, says, "The Greek word that is translated "teach" is an aorist imperitive, which may imply a slight sense of urgency: "teach us NOW to pray."

Pumpkin, I know exactly what he means.

I've said about all I can say, because I am a pilgrim, just like you, still learning to pray, but there is one thing that I can safely say. Jesus didn't ignore his disciples plea. He taught them to pray a simple, perfect prayer. It covers everything, and will never let you down.:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give today our daily bread,
Forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And led us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one,
for yours is the kingdom
and the power, and the glory forever.
(Matthew 6:9-13 NIV)

I'm not even going to tell you what to do. I'm going to point you to Jesus. It is He that has given us this prayer, and it is He who will teach you how to pray it. Ask Him. Don't hesitate. He knows all about what troubles you, and this prayer, it is a gift. It will get you through anything.

It's not like a prayer to enlarge your tents. It changes you. You may start praying it, and end up an entirely different person. It may sneak up on you, and the next thing you know, everything is different in your life. And it's a little surreal, dealing with a new you, especially if it's a you that God designed, rather than yourself.

And here's one more thing. Ask your spiritual director for guidance. Sweetheart, it's taken me a long time to see that we're not meant to journey alone. We are made for community. God Himself is One AND a Community of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is a mystery, but God will help you experience this as the truth. Just go to Him. And pray this prayer--this gift from Jesus.

I want you to find someone you trust, and ask them to teach you to pray. Choose well, for there are many who look like sheep, but they are wolves. There are many that look like shepherds, but they don't love sheep. Find someone who loves God, and loves you, and with the hunger and immediacy of the disciples who had Jesus right there with them, say, "Teach me to pray." Get a rule of prayer, and use it every day. God will meet you. He will change you.

The internet can only take us so far. Pray with someone that can hold your real, flesh and blood hand.

May the Lord bless you. May He give you mercy. May He reveal to you the person that He has made you to be. On earth, as it is in Heaven. Heaven has a plan for You. May you find it in Him. And hurt no more.

Kyrie Eleison.

I love you,


Anonymous said...

I can't describe, Claudia, how soothing, how comforting, how emotional your words are to me and to our "pumpkin" girl. God is using you and we are all blessed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you! Talk to you soon-you are on my mind.

Dee said...

Child, I need much prayer and a three day fast like now.

Thanks for keeping me in my prayerful place.

Anonymous said...

A first time visitor. A soul who walks where you walk and meets you on holy ground or rather--the heavenly place of prayer. Nice to meet you. Your tender honest journey is a blessing. Your son L. tapped me in while waking to morning prayers after a night of trigger fingers with Dylan and friends. as we talked of God and love and Jesus. His soul ponders. Both our boys are on a journey. We love them, bless them, and pray for them as they learn of home.

Connie said...

Prayer. Thrum of the heart in God's time.

bobbie said...

oh sister friend - i read all five of these together and it was so healing and soothing. my mom used to call me pumpkin - those are graceful words i only wish she had spoken to me. thank you dear friend!

A Heart of Worship said...

it's about time a drop you line, to let you know how much i appreciate your blog....been stopping in for a little while the poetic way you write...wish i had those got me with that line about florida evans! lol