The Lord's Prayer 

Workshop made for C of S, NYA

Craft Theology

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The Lord's Prayer

Get well started.

What exactly is prayer?

Prayer is standing openhearted and open handed before God saying: Here I am! A prayer always has a direction and a receiver. Prayer is a confession of faith: I believe God is there and listens and sees me.

When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, he taught them this prayer, the Lord´s prayer.

Prayer is the very breath of faith. It is the pulse of a life in faith. Prayer calms the heart and mind.

According to M. Luther prayer is ” calling out for God in all trouble” .Luther  (1) says, that if we want to be Christians we must pray. We must note what keeps us from praying, fight it, and silence it. Ask: “What stops me from praying”?

This is a question each must ask himself/herself ,  and there are multiple and individual answers…

Will God hear me?

I am convinced, from personal experience, that God hears our prayers. Luther said the same, and he said: God would not encourage us to pray, if he did not intend to listen.

This however does not mean that we always get what we pray for.

God wants the best for us: like all parents do for their children. God also knows that we may ask for more than is good for us. Therefore we may only get what we can actually cope with. The responsibility of more might destroy us. We cannot know the ultimate truth. And we tend to overestimate ourselves or put too much into things that actually separate us from God. We may try to become God-like ourselves, and in the process downsize God.

Therefore we are never given more than we can deal with, remembering that god comes first in our lives.

Wishing something and praying are two very different things.

Most important, put your heart into it.

Use your own words and make it simple.

Does God really answer?

Undoubtedly! But we may be too busy to hear it. Or we may not like the answer. But it is there. 

Faith needs to be cared for. Daily. Luther calls this ”growing holy” and it is a process for your whole life, until overtaken by the Holy Spirit at the end of time. Your relationship with God must grow and bear fruit.

Time: Set aside time for prayer every day. Find out the best time of day. Note down possible moments for prayer during the day, to make it a conscious effort.

Coming home from work, during lunchbreak, before work, before bedtime? Set the clock if necessary, whatever functions to remind you.

Place: Prayer can take place anywhere, not just in your room or in church. Also in the queue, in the car, in the train, in the bath, etc. Silent prayer at least!

Still it is good to have a specific place or context to set a frame around the prayer. A good chair, a small table with a candle, bible, cross. Move things that may disturb you.

You can also choose an outside place, a corner in the garden, a bench, a special place on the beach, a rock, a place with a view. Somewhere peaceful.

Prayer is also listening in silence to God and the sounds of his creation. “For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory… “

A good idea would be to write down your praying experiences in a small book. Write down when you feel heard and when you don´t.

This will make a kind of diary: a journal of faith.

And always remember that God, your Father, can bear your being angry with him!  He will comfort you in time. His time.

Believe with all your heart, that God is there waiting to go great things for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Martin Luther: The large Cathechism                       

pauseperler

Small interval beads

 

Because there must be intervals, moments of rest and peace, every day, week, year to feel think and recover.

When do I pause to think and feel. When do I keep the Sabbath as a day for spiritual recovery? To pause is to give God time  in your life.

 5 minutes every day, as my own morning or evening prayer reflection time. In church, on Sundays and on the high festivals, in everyday life on holidays and leave. Intervals are the breath of life it self. Here I can breathe in life and be filled by Holy Spirit.