Sunday, January 6, 2013

Notes from the Corner - Prayer Week - Teach Us to Pray

Eugene Peterson
In Tell It Slant, Eugene Peterson says, “The classic set prayers for Christians and Jews are the Psalms.” For Christians, he adds, this collection of prayers also includes Jesus’ prayers.

Set prayers, as Peterson calls them, are words others have prayed that we can use to guide our own prayers. He says, “It is a common and widespread practice in the Christian community to apprentice ourselves to the prayers that Jesus prayed.” Just like we learn to form our letters and numbers by copying those of others, so we can learn to pray by echoing Jesus’ prayers.
So, if you’d like learn to pray more honestly, more consistently, more powerfully, more like Jesus, begin with his prayers. They include the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:9-13/Lk 11:2-4), a prayer of thanksgiving (Mt 11:25-26/Lk 10:21), a prayer at a friend’s tomb (Jn 11:41-42), a few prayers as Jesus contemplates the cross (Jn 12:27-28; Mt 25.36-44/Mk 14:32-39/Lk 22:46), a prayer for his followers (Jn 17), and Jesus’ final words from the cross (Mt 27:46/Mk 15:34; Lk 23:34, 46; Jn 20:30).

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