We need God. We need each other. Prayer brings us together around our shared need. Why do you pray? How do you pray?
Prayer is Kingdom language. Kingdom living begins with prayer, grows by prayer, and climaxes in prayer. Jesus taught the Lord’s Prayer so we would know how to walk the prayerful pathway of Kingdom living.
Opening our body, mind, heart, and spirit to experience God through prayer centers our whole being in His presence. Prayer calls our soul into the heavenly realm while our feet are on the ground. Prayer is listening to the One who created us, sustains us, and seeks to provide our best pathway forward. Prayer connects us to each other as neighbors.
Jesus taught the disciples how to pray by how He prayed. He modeled the Kingdom prayer life. I encourage you to consider the following list and reflect on times in scripture when these occured:
He prayed with the disciples.
He prayed alone.
He prayed with two or three, in small groups.
He prayed in large groups.
He prayed before meals.
He prayed prior to making big decisions.
He prayed in stormy weather.
He prayed from the cross.
He prayed for Himself.
He prayed for others.
He was prayed for by others.
He prayed for the present.
He prayed for the future.
He prayed in the sanctuary of nature.
He prayed in the synagogue.
He prayed for the Temple to be a “house of prayer”.
He prayed for strength.
He prayed for His strength to be a miracle for others.
He prayed for His enemies.
He prayed for healings.
He prayed for resurrections.
He prayed through His grief.
He prayed to bless.
One of the places Jesus frequently prayed with the disciples was in The Garden of Gethsemane. Today, among the olive trees that date from the time of Jesus, it is possible to walk on the ground where Jesus taught the disciples what we now call the Lord’s Prayer. Adjacent to this garden is a Catholic church that was built after World War I for the purpose of Christians gathering from all nations to pray the Lord’s Prayer for global peace. (Catholics frequently call the Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father prayer.)
As you prayerfully move through the Lord’s Prayer, feel the heaven-earth connection. Sense the union of transcendence and immanence. Visualize God uniting with us to form the cross; the vertical intersecting the horizontal. God reaches into our humanity and invites us to reach out to Him. As a result of this connection we can make a difference in each other’s lives.