Now Jesus was praying in a certain place,
and when he was finished, one of his disciples said,
"Lord, teach us to pray . . ."
(Luke 11:1 ESV)
When I think of written prayer, the most famous one that comes to mind is "The Lord's Prayer." This prayer brings comfort to many around the world daily, as it is recited in unison. It is familiar to both religious and secular people.
In Luke's gospel the prayer is recorded as a response to one disciple's request: "Lord, teach us to pray." The disciple made his request after he had witnessed Jesus praying. Jesus modeled prayer. And He gave us a written prayer to reference as a teaching guide.
Each line is full of instruction and affirmation of what it means to pray, to ask in faith based on our relationship with God. This first phrase is full of love and belonging. Jesus doesn't teach us to pray to His father, but to our inclusive Father.
He tells us where our Father dwells. He is of heaven, a place beyond us, yet the unseen One makes Himself known to us through His Son. And through this very Son invites us to beseech Him as Father. A Father who intimately loves us and knows our words before they even form on our tongue.
To simply meditate on this one line of the prayer evokes the attitude of a contented child. To act upon this hope of heaven and to respond to the Father who loved us enough to send our eldest Brother to embody this truth, births in me a desire to love God.
No wonder the next line is "Hallowed be thy name!"
How does it feel to know that God is our Father? How does this truth affect your attitude or direct your actions?