20140813_222036000_iosWhenever I write prayers, the voice of one of my supervisors echoes through my efforts: “No flowery words”. This gracious teacher instilled in me the urge to get to the point and to keep it simple when we pray. Even when introducing prayer I am more likely to invite others to join by saying: “Let us pray” than by inviting others to “join our hearts in prayer” or some other more verbose invitation.
The Lord’s Prayer provides the perfect outline for our prayers and, of course, is so much more, complete in itself , saying it all and saying it well.
Recently, as I joined in prayer with some Roman Catholic colleagues, I was reminded that different traditions (including mine) have even “embellished” the Lord’s prayer – inscriptions of glory are surely good but arise more out of our human need than out of making a difference in prayer.
Everything our world needs or desires is covered in the simplicity of the Lord’s prayer – including the conviction that we must be the means to answer the prayers of the people. The words of the Lords Prayer are a heartfelt, empathic response to the world and to the God who made all things good.
And the words and teaching of Jesus surrounding the prayer he gave seek to underline the starkness and the demands of prayer – praying with our hearts, responding with our spirits – Seeing that which breaks the heart of God, knowing our own hearts broken and stepping forward with compassion and with commitment.

Of course this prayer and teaching speaks powerfully into our many and varied contexts – wherever we are in the world, the call to prayer and to action remains at the heart of Christian life. So how will you preach this text this week? How will you allow the text to speak its truth into power in your setting? Will you be “keeping it simple”?
Please share in the comments where your Reflectionary prompts are taking you this week as, together, we pray God’s word into being.

Rev Liz Crumlish is a Presbyterian minister living on the west coast of Scotland. She is a member of the RevGalBlogPals Board and contributed to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.

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One thought on “Narrative Lectionary: Treasuring Prayer (Matthew 6:7-21)

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