“He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray." As John taught his disciples, he said to them, "When you pray, say this. Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us, and lead us not into temptation."
All right, so this is a classic. This is Jesus teaching us the Our Father. He's teaching us how to pray. I love the humility of the disciples when they simply ask Jesus, "Teach us to pray." I have encountered a lot of groups that, when they're beginning prayer, they start by saying, "Lord, teach us how to pray. Teach us how to pray." That kind of invites the Lord to put the words in our hearts that we need to be saying.
Instead of just kind of coming up with it on our own in the moment, we're really inviting the Lord and Holy Spirit to guide our prayers, so I love that, and I think that that's something that we could do more often, as we're praying, just simply to begin by asking the Lord, teach us how to pray. I think it's also beautiful that Jesus is really inviting a new type of relationship with God here, when He says, "Father, hallowed be Your name." Right? He's inviting the disciples to call God Father, and this is huge. Today, when we think of God as our Father, I think this is one of the challenging points that we have in our culture because you see a lot of people who have a hard time relating to God, or even believing that He is a loving God, and so maybe God doesn't even exist, because there's so much pain in the world, but the reality is that our image of who God is is shaped by so many things, by so many variables, not the least of which is when we're told that God is our Father, what kind of relationship do we have with our earthly fathers?
How could He perfectly love me if he is a father, when my earthly father has not loved me perfectly? Right? That's a challenge for so many people. Maybe for you, and I want to invite you to realize that we live in a broken world, and the people in our world that bring us pain or have brought us pain in the past, they are broken, too, and they are hurting, and they need God. Don't allow your image of God as Father to be influenced by the fatherhood that we experience here on Earth. We do have incredible examples of fatherhood, right, but some of us don't, and so I want to just invite you to be open to a new type of Father, that is perfect love, that is perfect Father, that you have in God. Today's practical takeaway is when we pray, to ask Jesus, teach us how to pray. Holy Spirit, teach me how to pray. To look at God as our father, and to not allow any strings to be attached to just the broken concept of fatherhood on our planet right now. Let's pray.
Lord, thank You for the gift of Your mercy, the gift of Your fatherhood. We ask You to help us to be more like You, in seeing You as a Father, to be fathered by You, and to forgive everyone around us. Forgive people that have hurt us, even if it's a tremendous hurt. Help us to forgive. We pray all of this, Lord, in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. All right, everybody. Get out there and make the best day ever.
Nick De La Torre