July 27

Luke 11:1-4

“He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’” vs. 1

There is a poem by James Montgomery that has been set to music and can be found in many collections of hymns. The lyrics speak to the essence of prayer: “Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed, the motion of a hidden fire that trembles in the breast. Prayer is the burden of a sigh, the falling of a tear, the upward glancing of an eye when none but God is near.” Montgomery understood that prayer is a natural impulse for humans…we don’t have to think to do it. In the course of a lifetime a myriad of petitions flow unbidden from our hearts as our spirits reach out to the Spirit of God in search of intimacy and guidance. This happens for all people, believers and unbelievers. But as Jesus shows us, prayer is also an act of meditation, a regular time for reaching out to God…scripture implies that he prayed every day. And when his disciples asked for guidance he gave quite specific directions. Because Luke preserved his words we are privileged to offer his prayer on a regular basis…most of us know it by heart. And when we actually take time to savor the words we see revealed in them the core values of life in Christ. The Lord’s Prayer is an amazing gift…no matter which version we favor!

Thought for the Day: When am I most likely to pray?

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