Teach us to pray

Lord, teach us to pray!

Jesus taught his disciples to pray, and gave them a model prayer.
We know it as “The Lord’s prayer”, the “Our Father”, or Paternoster, (see headline 17 )
“This, then, is how you should pray:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your Name,
Your Kingdom come,
Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory for ever.
Amen.”       Matthew 6:9-13Luke 11:1-4.

Jesus praises God.  Jesus prayed to God with these words; “I praise you , Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to children.” (Matt 11: 25) In addressing God, Jesus combined the cosmic understanding of God as the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe with the personal knowledge of God as Father. We may follow his example in our own circumstances; “I praise you, Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because…”

Get ready to pray;

  • Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10   
  • Jesus’ habit was to get up early, and find a solitary place to pray.   Mark 1:35 
  • “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” (Psalm 95: 6, 7.)
  • After a strenuous period of fruitful ministry, Jesus planned a retreat with his disciples. He said, “Come with me to a quiet place and rest awhile.”  Mark 6:31, Luke 5:15-16
  • Samuel was taught to hear the voice of God, and to pray; “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”  1 Samuel 3:10
  • Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel’s momentous message: “I am the Lord’s servant. Whatever He says, I accept.” (Luke 1:38 Barklay)
  • Wise advice; “Pray as you can, not as you can’t!”  (Romans 8: 25-27)
  • “Fast and pray to God in private, not to impress others” (Headline 16)
  • .“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”   Luke 18:1-6

Now let us pray!

  • The Jesus prayer;
    Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.  (see Jesus’ story of two men praying; Luke 18:9-14)   
  • The prayer of Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
    -where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    -where there is injury, pardon;
    -where there is doubt, faith;
    -where there is despair, hope;
    -where there is darkness, light;
    -where there is sadness, joy.
    O Divine Master,
    grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
    to be understood, as to understand;
    to be loved, as to love;
    for it is giving that we receive,
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
    and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.  Amen.
  • The Serenity Prayer
    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference,
    living one day at a time;
    enjoying one moment at a time;
    accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it;
    trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His Will;
    that I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with Him
    forever in the next.
    Amen.             – Reinhold Niebuhr 1943   
  • Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
    See if there is any offensive way in me,
    And lead me in the way everlasting.    Psalm 139: 23, 24.   .
  • God be in my head and in my understanding;
    God be in my eyes and in my looking;
    God be in my mouth and in my speaking;
    God be in my heart and in my thinking;
    God be at my end and at my departing
    (From a Book of Hours, a 1514 service book used in Clare College, Cambridge)    
  • Day by day, day by day,
    O Dear Lord, three things I pray.
    To see thee more clearly.
    Love thee more dearly.
    Follow thee more nearly.
    Day by Day. (from the musical, Godspell, 1971; based on the prayer of Richard of Chichester, 1197-1253)                   
  • The prayer of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo (354-430)
    O Thou, who art the light of the minds that know Thee,
    the life of the hearts that love Thee,
    and the strength of the wills that serve Thee,
    help us, so to know Thee, that we might fully love Thee,
    so to love Thee that we may fully serve Thee,
    whom to serve is perfect freedom,
    through Jesus Christ our Lord,  Amen.
  • The priestly blessing of Aaron;   The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.  (Numb 6:22-27)
  • A Benediction;
  • May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,  and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.  (2 Cor 13:14)

Open Hands – a meditation;

“Honour Him, who holds in His hands
your life and all your ways.”Letting go –
of the past,
of things lost, taken away, or
never received,
of bitterness over past hurts,
of fear and anxiety.

Receiving –
the gift of life today
our daily bread,
every good gift from the Giver,
every ray of love.

Offering –
ourselves to the Father,
our resources to bless others.

. (To view this meditation on a separate page, click “Open hands.”)