Reflection: July 15, 2020
Wednesday of the Fifth Week after Trinity
By Kyle Mietzner
He Himself has commanded us to pray in this way and has promised to hear us. (Small Catechism: The Lord's Prayer, Conclusion)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Prayer can be a strange thing. I don't know many Christians who are satisfied with their prayer lives. Either they pray and don't hear anything back, or they have trouble praying at all. It can be very difficult to pray if you're not sure that God will listen to you. So, we are tempted to neglect prayer. Why bother?
We bother with prayer because Jesus has promised to hear us! He has even told us what to pray! Prayer from the heart, with words that you've come up with are good, but sometimes, we do not know what words to pray. The disciples also struggled with prayer. They noticed that Jesus was very good at it, so they asked Him to teach them (Luke 11:1). He responded by teaching them what we now know as the Lord's Prayer.
The Lord's Prayer shapes every other prayer, and grows in meaning each time it is spoken. Jesus has given us things to pray for that we would never have come up with on our own. Daily bread? Forgiveness? That God's Name would be holy? My prayers usually fall apart and far too short of what the Lord can provide! I am so grateful that Jesus has given us this prayer, and promised to hear us. We pray the Lord's Prayer, and all prayers, with confidence that the Lord will hear, for He Himself has said so.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor who was executed by the Nazis in 1945, prayed before his death. One of the guards reported that "He prayed as if someone was listening." It is true! The Lord listens! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Amen, that is, so shall it be. Make strong our faith in You, that we May not doubt not but with trust believe That what we ask we shall receive. Thus in Your name and at Your Word We say, "Amen, O hear us, Lord!" ("Our Father, Who from Heaven Above" LSB 766, st.9)
-Rev. Kyle Mietzner is pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Anchorage, AK.
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