Key Text

Luke 11:1-10

He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to
him,"Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples."
He said to them,"When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial."
And he said to them,"Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him,'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread;
for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.'
And he answers from within,'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.'
I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
"So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.
For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

cited from the NRSV

Image of the week

June 30, 2005

Prayer of the Spinner

The Prayer of the Spinner
Gerrit DOU
Oil on Wood

For the previous image (2 June, 2005), click here.

 

Present Context

For Reflection

Go to some prayer meetings and you feel like you need a PhD to pray.  Some people seem to pray on and on about things you had never thought about.  Can be very depressing sometimes.

Like Linus, Lucy, Charlie Brown lying on their backs looking at the clouds.  "What do you see, Linus?"  "I see the stoning of Stephen, Statue of Beethoven, Washington at Valley Forge".  "What about you, Charlie Brown?"  "Well, I was going to say that I saw a horsie and a duckie, but I changed my mind."

It is easy to be intimidated by people who pray eloquently, or long-winded, especially devout prayers in public meetings.

God doesn't necessarily want us to pray that way.  If anything, we could make a good assumption that God wants other than that:the Lord's prayer seems to indicate that we don't need to use great words.

God doesn't mark the theological content.

Emilie Griffin says "to pray is to be willing to be naive".

If you visit house where there are young children and  see some of the most second-rate art work hanging all over fridges. Just as there is no way that a child can offer a bad picture, no child of God can offer a bad prayer.

To pray simply is to bring ourselves before God just as we are, warts and all.

Prayer:

God, my words may not be great, my speech not eloquent, my thoughts half formed, my life still in need of transformation... hear the prayer I offer, and read the heart which cries out. Help me to be myself in prayer, and in the way I live each day, that my relationship with you and others might be authentic.

Amen.