“I do not call you servants any longer… but I have called you friends”
Romans 8:26-27 The Spirit helps us in our weakness
Luke 11:1-4 Lord, teach us to pray
God thirsts for relationship with us. He searches for us as he searched for Adam, calling to him in the garden: “Where are you?” (Gen 3:9)
In Christ, God came to meet us. Jesus lived in prayer, intimately united to his Father, while creating friendships with his disciples and all those he met. He introduced them to that which was most precious to him: the relationship of love with his Father, who is our Father. Jesus and the disciples sang psalms together, rooted in the richness of their Jewish tradition. At other times, Jesus retired to pray alone.
Prayer can be solitary or shared with others. It can express wonder, complaint, intercession, thanksgiving or simple silence. Sometimes the desire to pray is there, but one has the feeling of not being able to do so. Turning to Jesus and saying to him, “teach me”, can pave the way. Our desire itself is already prayer.
Getting together in a group offers us support. Through hymns, words and silence, communion is created. If we pray with Christians of other traditions, we may be surprised to feel united by a bond of friendship that comes from the One who is beyond all division. The forms may vary, but it is the same Spirit that brings us together.
“In the regularity of our common prayer, the love of Jesus springs up within us, we know not how. Common prayer does not exempt us from personal prayer. One sustains the other. Let us take a time each day to renew our personal intimacy with Jesus Christ.”
[The Rule of Taizé in French and English, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, Great Britain pp. 19 & 21]
your entire life was prayer,
perfect harmony with the Father.
Through your Spirit, teach us to pray according to your will of love.
May the faithful of the whole world unite in intercession and praise,
and may your kingdom of love come.
Jesus lived as an example of what it means to “live in prayer”. If prayer is the foundation of our relationship with God how much time and attention could you give to your personal prayer life?
What have you learned from praying with other Christians? What might God want you to learn from the practices and traditions of others?
What specific need in your community can you commit to pray for over the coming year?
Go and Do
Global: Commit to praying through the WCC Ecumenical Prayer Cycle this year.
Local: Unite with others in your community to pray together this week, in person, online via Zoom or similar platform, or at a set time when you know others will be joining in prayer.
Personal: Consider how your prayer practices inform and influence your action in the world.