Foundations For Our Future #88
Foundations for Our Future (88)
by: The Rev. Dr. Jon Shuler
As we dig deeper into the Lord’s teaching on prayer, we again come to him telling us that the number of words is not important. Now, however, he gives us another trap to avoid. We are not to imagine that “many words” will make it more likely that he will hear us. (Matthew 6:7) Not only does God hear us when we call out to him, instantly, but he actually knows what is on our hearts before we pray. Isn’t that astonishing?
M odern life, with all its deceptions, has left many immature Christians with a very imperfect understanding of the nature and character of God. He is all powerful, all wise, and all knowing, and he loves his children. He desires that each of us come into alignment with his creative purpose in giving us life. We are made for him, and we will be restless until we rest in him, as St. Augustine of Hippo said in the fourth century.
Nevertheless, Jesus gives his first disciples, and us, a model prayer. We all call it the Lord’s Prayer, since he gave it, but it is meant to be our prayer. This is why the church, through two thousand years, has taught it to all her children. This is why whenever and wherever a service is held by the church, this prayer is to be prayed. This prayer is to be so melded into our hearts that it shapes our lives.
Are we praying “many words,” or the words that Jesus has given us?