Deniliquin Pastoral Times

What is prayer?

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Many people, whether they publicly acknowledg­e it or not, would probably agree that at times, even if not regularly, that they pray.

Many people also encourage others with statements such as “my prayers are with you”.

How many of us actually stop to question where these prayers are directed?

Are prayers any more than our “good thoughts” bouncing around the atmosphere?

Or maybe even “getting something off our chest”? Or perhaps a request thrown out there in the hope that “someone” can do something about it.

To be effective, prayer must obviously be directed towards “someone” who is capable of not only hearing our prayer, but also of answering it.

In Matthew’s gospel, we have recorded for us, a pattern for prayer, which Jesus Himself gave to His Disciples(and those who would follow after).

One of the most telling features of the prayer which Jesus prayed, is the first time which shows us where the prayer is to be directed.

“This then is how you should pray. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” (Matthew 6:9)

In those few words, Jesus points us to the only One in the Universe capable of receiving our prayerFath­er God; Lord of the Universe which He created.

As Son of God and co-creator, Jesus is also part of the Holy Trinity, worthy of praise and prayer, but in this instance, He was also showing that He prays along with us.

In “hallowing” Gods name(acknowledg­ing the holiness of God), Jesus shows us that prayer is more about “who God is” and recognizin­g His plan for the whole of creation, rather than demanding what we think He should do for us.

Recognisin­g just who God is, as revealed to us in the Bible, is the start of how we can come to Him in prayer.

~ Contribute­d by Bruce Driver from the Uniting Church on behalf of the Deniliquin Combined Churches.

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