As part of our night time routine, I’ll brush Raynes’ teeth, maybe read him a book, then we say the Lord’s Prayer.
It’s been recited countless times. “Our Father, who art in heaven,: hallowed by thy name…” It may seem like a big (and formal) prayer for such a small child but over the summer, I listened to a “The Life You Love” Podcast (via Life in Grace) that reshaped my view of this age-old prayer. It was based, in part, by John Kleining’s book Grace Upon Grace.
Prayer should come as easily and naturally to us as breathing or eating. Yet, we all know how hard it is to pray.
Prayer, mostly, seems to go against the grain.
Unless we are quite desperate and have reached the end of our rope, we would rather not ask God for help.
We know that we should pray.
We would like to pray more regularly, ardently, and spontaneously.
The harder we try, the more we seem to fail.
But that’s how it’s meant to be.
Christ lets us fail when we pray by ourselves so that we rely on His intercession for us.
Oddly, our success in prayer comes from our personal failure and our willingness to carry on as He works for us and with us.
Unlike us, Jesus is an expert at prayer…..He is its best practitioner…..He takes over for us when we fail, and intercedes FOR us.
He fulfills God’s call to us to be praying people and get us to join Him in His praying.
Jesus does not leave us by ourselves in prayer.
He helps us at every step…..
Long before we ever began to pray, He was praying for us and for our salvation.
Whether we pray, or don’t pray, whether we’re awake, or asleep, He prays for us..
And he prays with us so that we can join Him in his praying.
Jesus teaches us how to pray by giving us the Lord’s Prayer.
This is His prayer, a prayer that He prays.
By giving us His prayer, He includes us in His relationship with His Father and allows us to act as if we were Him, dressed up in Him.
He therefore identifies Himself with us and with our needs, necessities, and sins, and temptations.
He joins Himself to us so that we can be where He is before God the Father.
We need not be anxious about whether God is pleased with us or whether He will give us a favorable hearing.
We need not worry about what to pray for, or how, because Jesus covers us with his righteousness and perfects our prayers.
Our performance does not matter; what matters is Jesus and our faith in Him as our intercessor.
.The Lord’s Prayer makes praying simple and easy for us because, as we use it, we pray together with Jesus.
It is much more important that we pray it regularly than that we wait until we have enough time to pray it at length and in great detail with deep ardor and and heartfelt devotion.
Satan,quite commonly, uses our spiritual enthusiasm against us. He gets us to go on a prayer binge because he knows we will not be able to sustain it. Then, when we fail, he uses our failure against us to argue that praying is not for us.
As a side note – if you’ve haven’t heard Edie’s podcast you really should download it from iTunes. Her perspective (and cute southern twang) might just get you thinking in a new way…