Teach Us to Pray

Teach us to pray

Today’s readings incorporate several themes: negotiation, commands, persistence, and expectation. And surrounding all these themes is a bigger theme: boldness. Abraham is bold in speaking with God, so bold in fact that he not only negotiates with the Almighty, the Almighty willingly grants his request. Abraham had no fear in speaking in such a way to God, because he knew that God was listening and appreciating his concern. The disciples, too, speak with boldness. They don’t ask Jesus to teach them how to pray, they tell him to teach them how to pray. Their imperative sets up a pattern of imperatives as Jesus teaches them the prayer that has been prayed unceasingly in the church catholic. These themes continue in boldness as persistence is encouraged, even to the extent of being able to ask, search, and knock, knowing that the Lord says we will receive what we ask for. And God wants to give to those who ask God. We are to ask in boldness, which comes from being “rooted and built up in [Christ]” (Col. 2:7). Guest preacher Pastor Dave Seddelmeyer reminds us that strengthened by the Lord’s supper, we are filled with God’s Spirit to speak boldly and to be persistent in our prayers, and to be ready to receive the things for which we ask. The question becomes, then, what is it we want and need?

Image: Three Praying, Church of the Assumption, Richfield, Minnesota. Photo copyright © Lucinda Naylor. Used by permission.

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