The Lord's Prayer--HOW to Pray
This month's prayer vigil focused on the Lord's Prayer as a model that Jesus gave us as a guideline for prayer. Somehow, the Lord's original purpose has turned this beautiful prayer into rote memorization that we say without even thinking. Where we got confused along the way was to understand that in the Lord's Prayer, Jesus was modeling HOW to pray--not WHAT to pray. As any good teacher knows, to create a life-long learner, one must teach a student HOW to think--not WHAT to think. Jesus was a master teacher. He was trying to teach us HOW to pray--not WHAT to pray.
I spent years working with my students in the Future Problem Solving program, founded by Paul Torrance in the 1970's. He also designed a creativity test to measure something seemingly intangible as creativity. The program focused on using a specific creative problem solving strategy to resolve a future challenges. Creative thinking is a LIFE skill but is also a tool to utilize in our prayer life. God gave us the ability to think and we need to use that gift to communicate with Him better.
To begin the Lord's Prayer, the first words are a greeting, if you will, to God. Notice, Jesus told us to say, "Our Father..." Wow! God's son actually encouraged us to call God, "Father"! There's a familiarity there that is part of the new covenant we have with the Lord God Almighty. When Jesus died, the veil covering the Holy of Holies was torn from the top down--not the other way. Our Father in Heaven did not want us to be separated from him, anymore. Through His son's blood our sins were washed away. That makes addressing God as "Father" so very special and powerful. It is one name of many names for God but this is the one Jesus suggested that we use to begin our prayers to God. I intend to start my next prayer with "Our Father" with new reverence and honor.
To be continued...