Jun
18
2009

Praying together

Today’s Gospel reading is the story of Jesus teaching his disciples how to pray.

Reading this story again this morning, I was struck by the fact that Jesus is teaching his followers to pray as a community. That’s easy to miss in our highly individualistic culture, where we think about my food, my debts, my God. Jewish culture was communal, and Jesus is teaching the disciples to pray corporately. Listen: “Our Father…” “Give us daily bread…” “Forgive us our debts…” “Rescue us from evil…”

Jesus was, of course, brilliant. This focus gives the prayer the shape of the cross, reaching up to God and down to us, of course, but also opening its arms wide to embrace all of God’s people around us.

When we pray “Our Father…” we not only acknowledge the faith we share with other disciples but our common share with all people and creatures created by God.

When we ask for daily bread, we give thanks for all that we have been provided by God, and plead for the same sustenance to be provided to God’s children everywhere.

When we pray for forgiveness of our debts, we recognize that we have already been given a clean slate by God. And as we acknowledge that our sisters and brothers also carry debts that need to be forgiven we pledge to work for a world in which all debtors – ourselves included – are treated fairly and mercifully.

Jesus concludes by noting that this prayer is only a prayer if we join God in what God is doing – forgiving, providing daily bread, rescuing from temptation, seeking God’s will.

Praying as a community is really important in our world and expands our relationship with God and each other. At Kairos we offer a lot of opportunities to pray together.

We are considering working a more intentional form of prayer time into our community by starting a contemplative prayer group. If you are interested in being part of a community that gathers to deepen relationship with God and each other – or if you know of someone who would be interested in such a group – please contact me and I will give you more information.

Go with God this day…

Bob

Written by Bob Fisher in: being church,spirituality |

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