By Samuel Schmitt
Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.[a]
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,[b]
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,[c]
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.[d]
In the coming weeks, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the Lord’s prayer in Mathew 6:9-13. In it, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray. It is a rich, short prayer, comprising only 65 words in its English translation. It fits in three twitter “tweets” with characters to spare. The phrases are packed with meaning, containing both truth and emotion. It is an incredibly valuable outline or pattern for us to model our own prayers after.
But the most important thing to note is that Jesus prayed and commands us to do it as well.
The most important thing to do in prayer is exactly that- to do it.
Prayer is communication. Communication is an essential ingredient to any relationship. Without it, relationships cannot grow, but instead wither and die.
Why is it then that when we get busy or stressed or prosperous, the first thing to get crowded out of our life is often prayer. We live in a busy world. Advertisers, bosses, politicians, video games, friends, and even ministry wage an unending war for our time. And just like war, not every enemy soldier is a “bad” guy. Our jobs, time with friends, even video games are not inherently evil things. But, if we allow them to, they can threaten to destroy something more valuable than they could ever be- our relationship with the Creator of the universe.
When our busy schedules don’t allow for prayer, we have only one option. In his work on the topic, Peter Kreeft points out that our call to prayer is a call to kill. Not in a literal, physical sense, but in order to make time for prayer, we have to kill something else by saying no to it and starving it of the time that it demands. We have to make a conscious choice to not do something else.
Prayer does not just happen. Crap happens. Valuable things require work and effort. Prayer is valuable. Protect it. Do it.