“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…” (Matthew 6:9KJV) Quiet recitation of the Lord’s Prayer filled the wide tiled hallways of the brick elementary school every morning. Perhaps the walls still resonate with the prayer and scripture readings that were part of the morning routine, now forbidden in the public schools of the Prairies and beyond. But this discipline of prayer by rote set a foundation for many, including myself. It was not just a morning task to be checked off but one that was done with great reverence and respect.
At home, even though we were not what would be considered a family of faith, prayer was always said before the evening meal. “For food and friends and all God sends, we give him grateful thanks. Amen.”
As the journey of faith continued and belief transformed into relationship, prayer changed. Memorized meditations morphed into heart bared, gut wrenching, earnest pleas then shifted again to raised hands, head bowed worship and then again to stillness of soul, listening for the voice of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Learning, always learning. Learning still. Prayer now a passion and a lifeline never to be severed.
Answers came in unexpected, sometimes shocking ways – a humbling experience from the throne room of an all wise, almighty God.
With prayer came privilege. The wonderful privilege of praying for others. My heart burdened for people as the Spirit lead. Why God would allow us to join Him to accomplish His purposes in this way is a mystery. He doesn’t need us. To say it is amazingly awesome is an understatement.
Then came commitment. Committing every action of every day to Him. Every word on a page, every word spoken, all the works of my hands bathed in a prayer of commitment to God. A huge learning curve as flesh battles spirit for ownership to which neither is entitled. It is ultimately and always His.
Prayer. Approaching “God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV) As Joseph M Scriven wrote in ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus,’ “What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer!”