Dietrich Bonhoeffer said…
Lord, teach us to pray
Not only did Jesus give the Lord’s Prayer as a teaching tool to his disciples, it remains the one prayer we are most familiar with today. I look forward to spending more time with this short prayer in several posts.
Jesus demonstrated the need for a quiet place – by himself – whenever he could….He withdrew from the crowds, he drifted in a boat, he made the time to take important matters to the Father without distraction. Here is a short list of examples:
- Just as his ministry was about to take off, Jesus fasted and prayed for 40 days and nights. He was alone, in a wilderness which led to intense confrontations with Satan. Read more of the story in Matthew 4:1-11
- Jesus lost someone dear to him, John the Baptist. He withdrew to a boat to be alone. Can you imagine? We tend to think Jesus never felt sorrow, grief, or any other emotion, for that matter. Yet, this occurence tenderized him for what lay ahead.
- Jesus prayed with fervency and agony into the long hours of the night. Even when his closest friends could not stay awake and pray, he persevered. Alone.
New to my library
I’m enjoying Timothy Keller’s book on Prayer. Taking my time through each chapter, here are a few quotes you might enjoy:
* “It is remarkable that in all of his writings Paul’s prayers for his friends contain no appeals for changes in their circumstances.” (20)
* “To discover the real you, look at what you spend time thinking about when no one is looking, when nothing is forcing you to think about anything in particular. (22)
* “Prayer is so great that wherever you look in the Bible, it is there. Why? Everywhere God is, prayer is. Since God is everywhere and infinitely great, prayer must be all-pervasive in our lives.”
* “Prayer is continuing a conversation that God has started through his Word and his grace, which eventually becomes a full encounter with him.” (48)
* “If we are going to be imbalanced, better we be doctrinally weak and have a vital prayer life and a real sense of God on the heart than that we get all our doctrine straight and be cold and spiritually hard.” (182)
The Barber Who Wanted to Pray, by R.C. Sproul, is a wonderful children’s story on learning Martin Luther’s prayer tools from the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments and Apostle’s Creed.
This book is more for the school-aged child, but can be applied with an adult’s guidance when teaching younger children the ‘big prayer.’
My Utmost for His Highest
The best, and most timeless, praying tool I’ve ever come upon….and still refer to on many occasions.
This will be my guide throughout this journey. I encourage my readers to find a tool suitable enough to encourage an intentional and purposeful prayer life.
Along these, and any tools you find helpful, join me in This Thing Called Prayer.