“Lord, teach us to pray” Luke 11:1
Luke share with the reader the setting in which the disciples received “The Lord’s Prayer.” Luke’s account of the events surrounding the giving of this prayer is in response to a request from the disciples, “Teach us to pray…” The request assumes that prayers are more than just a release of pent up emotions aimed at God in hope of a response. Prayer is a discipline and as such, it is an experience that can be taught and learned.
The first prayers I remember being taught were simple mealtime prayers:
Thank you, God, for milk and bread and other things so good. Amen.
God is great. God is good. Let us thank him for our food. Amen.
As a child, I had some hearing issues that resulted in some speech delays. When it was my turn to pray (or so the story goes) for our evening meals my prayer became unintentionally truncated to the point where the words of my prayer were “Thankin’, thankin’, thankin’.” For years the retelling of this story embarrassed me. I was well into adulthood when I came across some of Meister Eckhart’s writings on prayer. It was the following quote that removed the embarrassment from me for all time, “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
I had parents willing to teach me thankfulness for the gifts I had received. I also had parents that gave me the words to express that thankfulness. In all that we do we should be thankful for the variety and bounty of gifts that we have received. In-person and in prayer we should always remember to say, “Thank you.”