Invitation to Prayer:
Our problem is that we assume prayer is something we master the way we master algebra or auto mechanics. That puts us in the “on-top” position where we are competent and in control. But in praying we come “underneath” where we calmly and deliberately surrender control and become incompetent. “To pray,” writes Emilie Griffin, “means willing to be naïve.” (Richard Foster, Prayer, p. 7-8).
The Psalm (Psalm 84:1-7)
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you. Selah
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
The Scripture Reading (Luke 11:1)
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
Rather than drawing us closer to God, prayer often becomes a wedge because we feel incompetent in our praying. We leave prayer for others who seem more “spiritual” or “mature” in their faith. In so doing, we miss a great gift that God has for us. Even the first disciples needed to be taught how to pray. And they asked for what they needed.
Who in your life has taught you to pray or modeled prayer for you?
With those first disciples, Lord Jesus, we ask for help in our praying. You have already given us words to say. Now give us hearts that yearn to pray. Amen.