How to Pray
Even when I want to pray, I often feel I don't know how. Faced with disasters on a grand scale, or the smaller but just as deeply painful griefs we all encounter at some time, there just don't seem to be the right words. That doesn't matter. Prayer is about the focus of the heart, not the babbling of the mouth. Jesus taught that when we pray we shouldn't keep on babbling in the hope that God will hear because of the repetition of many words. Instead, he said - pray like this - then gave a framework or pattern for prayer which Christians call 'The Lord's Prayer'.
There are two versions of the Lord's Prayer in the gospels, one in Matthew and one in Luke. Here's the Matthew version, from the New Revised Standard Version:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.
This post is the 7th in a daily series of Lent reflections based on Bible readings from the Common worship Lectionary of the Church of England. This one is based on Matthew 6: 7-15.