Luke 11:1-13 (NIV)
Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer
1One 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.”
2He said to them, “When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
3Give us each day our daily bread.
4Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’ “
“The Lord’s Prayer” — HERE — by Veritas (a contemporary classical male singing group).
I do not say that I understand everything the poet is saying — but what I do understand makes me long to pray more — beside the manger, at the foot of the cross, at the door of the empty tomb. Each is a place where we can pray. . .
The Wise Men
by G. K. Chesterton.
Step softly, under snow or rain,
To find the place where men can pray,
The way is all so very plain
That we may lose the way.
Oh, we have learnt to peer and pore,
On tortured puzzles from our youth,
We know the labyrinthine lore,
We are the three Wise Men of yore,
And we know all things but the truth.
We have gone round and round the hill
And lost the wood among the trees,
And learnt long names for every ill,
And serve the made gods, naming still
The furies the Eumenides.
The gods of violence took the veil
Of visions and philosophy,
The Serpent that brought all men bale,
He bites his own accursed tail,
And calls himself Eternity.
Go humbly… it has hailed and snowed…
With voices low and lanterns lit,
So very simple is the road,
That we may stray from it.
The world grows terrible and white,
And blinding white the breaking day;
We walk bewildered in the light,
For something is too large for sight,
And something much too plain to say.
The Child that was ere worlds begun—
(… We need but walk a little way …
We need but see a latch undone …)
The Child that played with moon and sun
Is playing with a little hay.
The house from which the heavens are fed,
The old strange house that is our own,
Where tricks of words are never said,
And Mercy is as plain as bread,
And Honor is as hard as stone.
Go humbly; humble are the skies,
And low and large and fierce the Star,
So very near the Manger lies
That we may travel far.
Hark! Laughter like a lion wakes
To roar to the resounding plain,
And the whole heaven shouts and shakes
For God himself is born again
And we are little children walking
Through the snow and rain.
5Then said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’
7“Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Psalm 105:4 (NRSV)
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually.
11“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
“It is on prayer that the promises wait for their fulfillment, the kingdom for its coming, the glory of God for its full revelation … Jesus never taught His disciples how to preach, only how to pray. He did not speak much of what was needed to preach well, but much of praying well. To know how to speak to God is more than knowing how to speak to man. Not power with men, but power with God is the first thing.”
–Andrew Murray (1828-1917) South African writer, teacher and Christian pastor. Murray considered missions to be “the chief end of the church.”