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On the Lord's Side?

Lord, teach us to pray
Genesis 18:20-32; Psalm 138:1-3,6-8; Colossians 2:12-14; Luke 11:1-13

Sermon Week Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 11:1

The great scientist, Isaac Newton, was a man rooted in prayer, which is to say, rooted in God. He once said:

"I can take my telescope and look millions and millions of miles into space. But I can set it aside and go into my room, shut the door, get down on my knees and see more of heaven and get closer to God than I can be assisted by all the telescopes and material things on earth."

Jesus Christ has been given to us as the ultimate, supreme sign that God is with us always. Jesus is with us here. Jesus is with us now. Jesus is in our midst. He is just that close to us. And if we're not feeling it, it's a sure sign that we need to rearrange our priorities and set aside time for solitude, time for silence -- time for prayer -- time to listen for the Voice of God.

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus is praying, and one of the disciples says to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray." Jesus answers, "Say this when you pray: 'Father, may Your Name be held Holy, Your Kingdom come; give us each day our daily bread'" (Lk. 11:1-3).

Everyone knows the Lord's Prayer. Without a doubt, it is the best-known passage in the Bible. One problem we have with the Lord's Prayer is that it is so familiar we often repeat it mechanically. We say the prayer, but it has no real meaning for us. We don't tie it into the level of our hoping and dreaming, laughing, and crying, living, and dying.

Do you realize that the words "I," "my," and "me" do not occur once in the Lord's Prayer? Yet while saying "Our Father," it is easy to mean only "my Father"; to utter the words "give us this day our daily bread" and still think only in terms of "give me my daily bread"; or to make a mental substitution of "forgive me my trespasses" for the actual words "forgive us our trespasses." These lines of Charles Thompson may help you avoid the tendency [...]

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