Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Learning to Pray

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.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:
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 indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.’

And he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.” And he answers from within, “Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.” I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.

‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’ Luke 11:1-13

As a parent, it is always hard when a child is troubled, no matter their age. As a child, it is hard to watch your parent age, and lose capacity and clarity. We all want those we love to thrive, and when they can't or don't, our hearts break and we feel helpless. When I was a young mother, I learned the Jesus prayer, and I have found that when things get tough, my voice, silent or out loud, intones that prayer, at any time of day or night. And the Lord's Prayer likewise, comes tripping off my lips, reminding me that my life, all my life and the loves in my life, are in God's hands, safe, protected and cared for every day.

Today, I ask God to help me pray at all times. I ask God to strengthen me, so that I might trust to the Creator's care all that I whom I love, every moment of every day. May we all move to prayer in the weak and happy times, knowing we are help tenderly in our Maker's hands.

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