Sunday’s Reflection: Can you recall a time you felt unable to pray? This passage in Luke’s Gospel begins a long section about discipleship, so it is fitting that he begins by talking about prayer. The Lord’s Prayer serves as a template for structuring prayer (it is shorter than Matthew’s version): adoration, supplication, and confession, as well as moral implications. Luke impresses the attitude and ethos of prayer: it should be continuous. As Paul said, we “pray without ceasing.”
Jesus’ disciples speak for us when they ask Jesus to teach them to pray. Such a request is one that we might make today! After all, as St. Thomas Aquinas says, “God is the first mover of all things,” so we must rely on the Holy Spirit to move us first, that we might participate in prayer. But the Lord has given us the words to pray that we might not be completely lost. Not only has he given us the Lord’s Prayer, but he has also given us all of Scripture, most notably the Psalms. And these prayers are both temporal and spiritual. The Lord himself has taught us to pray for both our physical needs and our spiritual needs.
Do you have a memory of a prayer that was answered? Do you have a memory of a prayer that you felt was unanswered? How did you respond in those cases?
Prayer: O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sermons That Work – The Episcopal Church