[DAY 3] Teach Us How to Pray

NOTE: All the emails from this prayer challenge can be found here: leavenintheworld.com/9dayprayerchallenge. If you are joining us today, start wherever you feel comfortable. Remember — there is no such thing as too late. What matters is that you said YES, and the fact that you are here means you’re right on time. Please feel free to share with your friends!

Day 3 Intention: Teach Us How to Pray

For the third day of our prayer challenge, let us ask the Spirit to intercede on our behalf:

  • Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27, NRSV).
  • Let us approach God with humility and patience, knowing that we do not have all the answers, attentive and ready to hear the voice of God, which often speaks in a still, small voice, in a gentle whisper (see 1 Kings 19:11-13).
  • As we take time to pray today, may we have the patience and perseverance to wait on the Spirit to inspire and breathe life into our prayer. May the words that we pray come from a place deep within us that hungers and thirsts for God’s holy embrace.
Reflection: Abba, Father

If you are anything like me, then that means that your prayer life has gone through many seasons of dryness as well as seasons of abundance. When I am in a dry season, I feel like I am groping in the dark or trying to aim for a target with one eye shut. In times of abundance, it feels like spring rain on parched earth.

As I’ve grown older and the daily patterns of my life have changed, I’ve had to constantly recalculate and course-correct my approach to prayer, recognizing that what may have worked in my 20s before I had kids may not be the right fit for my life right now.

What I’ve found is that God is much less demanding and judgmental than I used to believe. I’ve found that God, in all God’s goodness and love for us, takes whatever we have to offer, blesses it and makes it even greater still.

And so when we pray, let us not approach God as our ancestors may have, as someone appeasing an angry God or making a wish, as if God were a genie.

Let us approach God with the attitude of Christ who, with the closeness of a Son with his Father, cries out Abba, Father.

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

He said to them, “When you pray, say:

hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’ (Luke 11:1-13, NIV)”