“Lord, teach us to pray.”
The men who urged Jesus to educate them about prayer weren’t immature or novices. Each of them had prayed—in penitence; for safety; for a good night’s catch—as part of a life story that led them to careers in fishing, tax collecting, and even political activism. But they had heard from Jesus—from time in close with Jesus—a whole new way of praying, one that began with an entirely new view of God. Gone was the angry, frowning deity of their imaginations, the God who was always disappointed with them. For they had heard their Master call this God His “Father”—even “Daddy.” The grace they found in Jesus opened up a whole new way to pray. And they were hungry to know more, learn more, pray more. Grace made them passionate about prayer. So it will be with us. When we discover what has always been true—that we are loved and held as closely as a parent holds us; that we were truly, eagerly embraced before we had a righteous thought—we unclench our bodies and our minds. Our prayer becomes an easy, reverent conversation warmed by love, and all our fears diminish. The Father who loved this world so much that He gave Jesus to us (John 3:16) rejoices when we trust Him, welcome Him, and tell Him everything. Grace leads us first to gratitude, and gratitude to prayer. So stay in grace. -Bill Knott
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