Learning How to Pray
May I introduce you to the one and only Bear in our home–Cub Scout Bear.
(Second from the right in the blue hat and tan shirt.)
We were so proud of how much work he (and we) put in so that he could earn his Bear badge. For one of his last activities, he memorized the Lord’s prayer.
“This is how you should pray. ” ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. May your kingdom come. May what you want to happen be done on earth as it is done in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, just as we also have forgiven those who sin against us. Keep us from falling into sin when we are tempted. Save us from the evil one.’ (Matthew 6:9-13 NIRV)
When I was a kid, my brother and I recited two prayers–one for mealtime and one for bedtime–so many times that each prayer became a slurred mess of words. The words didn’t even mean anything to us after awhile.
In these verses, Jesus teaches us not words to be repeated but a guide for how to pray.
‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored.’ A good start for any prayer is praise of God. He is worthy of all our praise.
‘May your kingdom come. May what you want to happen be done on earth as it is done in heaven.’ Acknowledge God’s sovereignty. Surrender to His will.
‘Give us today our daily bread.’ Only after we’ve taken our eyes off of ourselves and placed them on God alone is it time to ask God for the things we need. He is our Provider.
‘Forgive us our sins, just as we also have forgiven those who sin against us.’ One of the greatest gifts God can give us is His forgiveness. God’s amazing mercy and grace should lead us to extend forgiveness to others.
‘Keep us from falling into sin when we are tempted. Save us from the evil one.’ God is the one who gives us the power and the desire to live for Him (Philippians 2:13). He is our Protector.
I couldn’t have asked for a better end to our first Scouting experience than for Kaden to learn the Lord’s prayer.