The Foundation of Prayer

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:

“Father, 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 11:1-4

Jesus called God “Father.” No one else did that. And beyond that, he called God “Daddy” (in Aramaic it was “Abba”). That was outlandish. But it took hold. Soon, Jesus’s followers were talking to God with a rare intimacy as well, even calling God “Daddy” (Rom 8:15, Gal 4:6).

On Sunday we talked about the amazing prayer Jesus taught in the verses above (called the Lord’s Prayer) and we diagramed it as the House of Prayer (below). The foundation of that prayer - and the premise of all prayer - is that we have a God who loves us, cares for us, listens to us, and wants to connect with us. We have a “Daddy” if you will.

So this might be a stretch for you, but consider trying it: Start your day by laying the foundation of prayer. When you wake up in the morning (or when you remember), make the sign of the cross over yourself as a way to remember that you have a Heavenly Father watching over you this day. For those with little experience making the sign of the cross, commonly you take your right hand and start at your forehead and then drop it down towards your navel, then move it to your left breast, then to your right. Typically you utter a sacred word at each point of the cross, like, “Father, Son, Holy Spirit.” Some have adapted it and pronounce a blessing on themselves like this: “Beloved child, God’s delight.” You can get creative, speaking the words you need to ground yourself in God’s love.

The idea is to physically engage in the process of identifying yourself with the God of the universe who is your heavenly parent, who loves you and is watching over you this day - and thus laying a new foundation for your day.

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