This Sunday we will continue to ask the question, ‘What does a disciple of Jesus Christ look like?’ We will examine together the understanding that a disciple of Jesus Christ is one who seeks God’s will in prayer just as Jesus taught us. As disciples, we are lifelong learners and this week come ready to learn about prayer. I don’t know about you, but I am in continual need of help with my prayer life. I have a tendency to fall asleep, my thoughts tend to wander, my mind blanks, and more often than not my prayers end up focused on my own will. Throughout my life, God has sent persons into my life that have helped to teach me how to pray. I remember as a child my parents teaching me to pray before going to bed, always remembering to tell God what I was thankful for and to pray for friends and family members. There was a Sunday School teacher when I was in middle school who made me get used to praying out loud. While working retreats in high school I remember learning to pray with mentors and friends from a Pentecostal denomination, whose prayers sounded much different than the ones I heard in church, something I loved. In college, I had a friend who made it a point to pray all the time be it before conversations, before heading out to surf, about how to spend money. The past few years I have come to love learning from our church fathers and mothers whose written prayers often change me and challenge my own prayer life. As you come to worship this Sunday, who taught you how to pray? Who is teaching you how to pray? What is your prayer life like?
Christ’s disciples weren’t much different from us, after hearing Jesus pray they asked him to teach them how to pray. Jesus’ response was a bit of what many of us now know as the Lord’s Prayer. I have come to find that the Lord’s Prayer is a challenge to the way that I might normally pray. If left without a teacher for too long my prayers become small, self-centered, and all about my will getting done. Will Willimon writes, “The Lord’s Prayer is a lifelong act of bending our lives toward God in the way that God has offered-thy will be done, thy kingdom come.” We have quite enough teaching in the various modes of achieving our will in this world. We build our kingdoms all over the world and the wreckage is all around us…In praying this prayer we become the people God has called us to be in Jesus.” This Lenten season let us continue to curb our desires and our will as we seek after God’s desires and God’s will for our lives and this world. May your journey of following Jesus as a disciple continue this Sunday as we seek God’s will together in prayer. See you Sunday.
Rev. Colin Snider