“Lord, teach us to pray.” The ordinary men and women Jesus called away from their families, their businesses, their homes, their comfort zones, out into the great adventure of following him – they knew they needed lessons in prayer. Perhaps they knew too well the human tendency for prayer to turn into “my will be done”, to treat the Lord of Heaven and Earth as some kind of Santa Claus and to complain when our demands for this and that are not met. Or to wonder if God does not hear us because we are on the “naughty” list and the amazing grace of God does not extend to us. Or perhaps Jesus’ followers knew too well the human tendency to shy away entirely from addressing the Holy One, the fear and awe which can come upon the creature when speaking to the Creator.
And so they asked Jesus to teach them to pray, and he gave them the gift of his prayer, the Lord’s prayer. “Pray like this,” he told them.
We, too, have been called away by Jesus onto the great adventure of following him. We, too, have been given the gift of the Lord’s Prayer to prepare us, equip us and accompany us on this journey. This summer, I’ll be preaching a sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. I invite you, whether you are in church or not, to pray the Lord’s Prayer every day, and to pay attention when you do. Jesus Christ has given you this great gift, to transform you and the world he loves.