The Word Among Us

Lent 2023 Issue

Lord, Teach Us to Pray

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

By: Jeff Smith

Lord, Teach Us to Pray: Dear Brothers and Sisters, by Jeff Smith

If you could ask the Lord for one thing this Lent, what would it be? Perhaps you’d ask him to heal some tension in your family or bring a solution to a financial difficulty or health challenge. We know that Jesus cares about every area of our lives, so we naturally want to bring him our worries and burdens. But what if you were to take a different approach this Lent?

Imagine that you are one of Jesus’ first followers. You’ve seen him heal the sick, feed the hungry, and raise the dead. You’ve seen him forgive sinners, preach the good news, and urge people to turn their lives over to God. You’ve also seen him go off early in the morning to pray alone, and you’ve even prayed with him. So what if you joined his disciples this Lent in making one single request: “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1)?

That’s our goal for this Lenten edition of The Word Among Us. For the next forty days, we’ll sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to him as he teaches us how to pray to our Father in a way that is both personal and reverent (Matthew 6:9-13). Then, we will witness how close his relationship with his Father is as we hear him praying during the Last Supper (John 17:1-26). Finally, we will join him in the Garden of Gethsemane and listen as he struggles to embrace his Father’s call to the cross.

The Spirit Will Teach You. You might feel that it’s impossible to be so close to the Lord that you can actually experience him teaching you. But you have something that his disciples didn’t have in those days leading up to the cross. You have the Holy Spirit living in your heart!

Jesus’ promise to his disciples is for you as well: the Spirit “will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you” John 14, 26, emphasis added). The Spirit, whom you received when you were baptized, remains in you and is eager to bring you into Jesus’ presence every time you pray. He is with you right now, in fact, ready to bring Jesus’ words to life for you—especially his words about encountering his Father in prayer.

So as we spend time in prayer each day this Lent, let’s start with these words: “Lord, teach me to pray! Teach me to draw close to the Father. Holy Spirit, bring alive to me everything that Jesus taught his disciples. And Lord Jesus, as I witness your passion on Good Friday, help me to be right next to you, praying with you every step of the way.”

May God bless you this Lent.

Jeff Smith
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