One of the simplest and most profound gifts we have in the gospels is a record of this model prayer which Jesus gave in answer to the disciples question, “Lord, teach us to pray”.
For many of us it is a very familiar prayer, on our lips since childhood, perhaps at school assemblies, uttered innumerable times in church services, week after week of our lives. There is a great blessing in liturgy – repeated words that sink deep Biblical truths into our hearts. But there’s a danger too, that the familiarity of these words might somehow mean we fail to grasp the wonder of these words, as they reveal the heart and priorities of Jesus, the Son of God, as he teaches us to pray to God.
Perhaps most wonderful of all is that name with which Jesus encourages us to address God: “Our Father”. Two words that sum up the wonder of what Jesus has done for us in bringing us back into relationship with God, so that we can come to him with our lives in all their abundance and need and speak with him face to face.
Today, as 2020 draws to a close, let’s read these words out loud. Read them slowly, savouring every word and phrase. As we stand at the gateway to another year, let’s speak these words as a blessing and a prayer over our streets, our villages, our towns, our cities, our nation and through them, may the Lord call us – and the people around us – into renewed relationship with God as we wonder again at the gift of Jesus, the Word made flesh for us.