There is a lot of talk about “thoughts and prayers” these days. In the wake of tragedies some say they are sending prayers, and others deride those comments as shallow without action. Both sides have some merit to their statements.
The eternal truth is that prayer itself is an action. Furthermore, prayer can provide proper fuel and proper focus for subsequent good and right actions. It is through the act of prayer we actively commune with the Divine and seek out our responsibility in society.
Prayer requires active engagement with the world as well. Jesus’ lifestyle fully embraced prayer and fully embraced action. He lamented bombastic prayer that led to no action or were merely said for self-glorification. To assist us in our prayer efforts, He left us the best example of how to pray: The Lord’s Prayer. (Matthew 6:5-15)
To re-center the people of his day on how to pray properly, Martin Luther wrote reflections on the Lord’s Prayer in his Catechism. We too must re-center ourselves on how to pray, looking towards the Lord’s Prayer as our example.
So, starting tomorrow, this blog will spend several days looking at the different parts of the Lord’s Prayer, seeing how each section teaches us how to pray and how to act.