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Teach Us to Pray

Prayer is simple. It’s just talking to God.

Yet, for many of us, prayer is hard.

I shared the results of a spiritual gifts assessment I recently took with a friend of mine and his response was, "Dang, you're so bad at prayer!" (He was jesting - it's low on his spiritual gifts assessment, too.) But, yes, I know. It's for sure not a spiritual gift of mine and I do not claim to have this figured out. I am a work in progress. So, when I say it's simply I don't mean to imply that it's easy.

It’s hard to focus our hearts and minds. It’s hard to find the words to express ourselves to God. It’s hard to discipline ourselves to spend time with Him.

But prayer is foundational to a vibrant relationship with God. The Bible has a lot to say about it. Jesus has a lot to say about it.

In fact, Jesus’ disciples – his closest followers – once came to Him and asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.” He taught them what, for many of us, are the familiar words of the Lord’s Prayer.

You may have learned this prayer as a child. I did, too.

Over the next several weeks, we’re going to look at each line of this prayer and reflect on how Jesus’ original listeners would have heard and understood this prayer.

For now, though, let’s hear it again – in a translation different than the one you might have learned.

Read slowly. Listen carefully. Reflect on it – just for a moment – and consider how Jesus taught us to pray.

Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:9-13, NLT)

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