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Jen Pollock Michel

( author + writer + speaker )

Teach us to pray

jenmichel@me.com

Our Father-in-Heaven: Be lifted up today!

Rule over us, we pray, and tear down our idols.

Let your intention for us be realized completely,

Regardless of what it may cost.

We look to you to feed us, to provide what we need.

Forgive our sins; cancel our debts.

Teach us to do the same for others.

We are weak and prone to wander.

Oh, have mercy, dear Lord.

Find us in our weakness; rescue us in our lostness.

Protect us from the evil one.

We confess you as King of the Everlasting Kingdom,

The High and Omnipotent God, the All-Glorious One.

This is how it is and how it always be will. Amen.

(The Lord's Prayer, paraphrased by David Nixon)

* * * * *

"When Jesus gave his disciples this prayer, he was giving them part of his own breath, his own life, his own prayer. The prayer is actually a distillation of his own sense of vocation, his own understanding of his Father's purposes. If we are truly to enter into it and make it our own, it can only be if we first understand how he set about living the Kingdom himself." N.T. Wright, The Lord and His Prayer

"Many assure us that Jesus really means "keep us away from temptation," or "lead us out of temptation," or remind us that you never tempt us." Of course none of these things is what Jesus actually said. He told us to beg God not to put us to a test, presumably because we would fail it. What a vote of confidence in us! What a vote of confidence in God! What a way to conclude a conversation!" Telford Work, Ain't Too Proud to Beg

"Our culture is probably the hardest place in the world to learn to pray. We are so busy that when we slow down to pray, we find it uncomfortable. We prize accomplishments, production. But prayer is nothing but talking to God. It feels useless as if we are wasting our time. Every bone in our bodies screams, "get to work!" Paul Miller, The Praying Life

"Go into your closet and shut the door, Jesus advised, and I envision doing just that, entering a closet with my pressing, time-bound burdens, and asking God to renew, to refresh, to remind, to pour some eternity into me." Philip Yancey

* * * * *

Sit still.

Longer.

Listen. And hear.

I, and I alone am God.

 

Sit still.

Longer.

Listen. And hear.

 

There is a Beginning,

A bold God-introduction,

Something preeminent,

First.

 

Sit still.

Longer.

Listen. And hear.

 

I will be exalted.

 

Though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,

Though its waters roar and form,

Though the mountains tremble at its swelling,

We will not fear.

 

Jesus, teach us to pray.