Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lord, Teach Us to Pray

I had the chance to watch the new the movie Gravity yesterday. In 3D, its about as close as you can get to actually walking in space yourself. It's quite a movie.

Without giving too much away, there was a point in the movie that touched my soul. At a critical moment for Ryan, the Sandra Bullock character, when she seemed to be at the end of her rope, she was moved to pray. But in fear and frustration she admitted: "I don't know how to pray. Nobody taught me." Wow!

Many things ran through my mind at that point. How beautiful to naturally seek communion with God in a time of great terror. Even without prayer, and even in the vacuum of space, God is there. God certainly was with Ryan. It also confirmed what I have always believed: How are people going to know about Christ, and how are people going to know about God, about prayer, and about the hope about the Kingdom of God... IF NOBODY TELLS THEM?

Every moment we take to share the good news with a child is valuable. Even taking five minutes to pray with a child who might never have another opportunity to pray, matters. What a tragedy it is to ponder how many people are out there who are desperate to know the love of God, but don't because "Nobody taught me."

In Luke 11, Jesus' disciples see Jesus praying. Surly they have prayed before, but there is something about how Jesus prays and the power that it gives him, that leads them to say to Jesus, "Hey, Teach us to pray. John taught his disciples."

Jesus lays it out simply. The model of the "Lord's Prayer" lays it out this way: Call on the holy name of God, ask for his Kingdom to be fully be realized among us, and ask for all our daily needs, for forgiveness, and protection from the wickedness around us. Praying is boldly laying it all out to God with specific requests. Go ahead. God can take it.

Then after teaching these steps, Jesus, in Luke 11, shares stories to reveal to us that prayer should be done persistently... even without ceasing, as Paul puts it in 1 Thessalonians. If a person can be persistent in asking a neighbor for bread and if a child can be persistent in asking a parent for lunch... how much more should we be persistent in prayer? If the neighbor and the parents respond affirmatively to persistence, rest assured that God will respond to your prayers as well.

Keep on praying then. Go ahead. God can take it. Don't be afraid to lift up your needs... all of your needs to God. Keep on teaching prayer as well. May there never be another child of God in the position to say they can't pray because "Nobody taught me"