Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray…” Luke 11:1
Among all of the differences between the estimated 7.6 billion people in the world today, one of the incredible similarities is that in every culture people pray. However, certainly the form and language of prayer widely varies. Some people recite long ancient passages. Others use prayer to empty themselves in an attempt to find a wordless silence. Here in our neighborhoods, our children often learn short prayers of gratitude for their meals to the same God they see their fathers curse and swear at when they smash their thumb with a hammer.
Prayer is as common as the air we breathe, yet like Jesus’ disciples we easily feel confused as to how to pray—or, more practically, how to pray prayers that actually get heard and answered.
When Jesus taught his disciples to pray the Lord’s Prayer, he began with a simple address: Our Father in heaven. Now, there’s certainly many titles Jesus could have used. He could have called us to pray to the Lord of Heaven, the Creator of the Universe, or the Commander of the Heavenly Armies. But instead, he taught us to call God Father. Through belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are invited to share the same relationship that Jesus shares with his Father.
Have you ever paused to recognize how amazing that is? We aren’t simply slaves commanded to serve a distant God. Believers in Jesus are children of God. I encourage you today to place your trust and faith in Jesus and to reach out in prayer to our Father in heaven.