Dear Friends of Jesus

Dear friends of Jesus,

    I am sometimes asked why we pray the Lord’s Prayer every time we meet for
worship and meetings.  There are many reasons.  For many of us, this is the first
“grown-up” prayer we learned to pray and it may be the last prayer we remember.  We pray it because it includes all that we need for our lives, spiritually and physically.  We pray it as a community because it begins, “Our Father,” and so it belongs to all of us.

    When I was a nursing home chaplain, I learned that we Christians do not all pray it exactly the same, but that it was similar enough that I could pray it with Catholics and
Presbyterians and Methodists and others.  “We” could pray it because it is the prayer that Jesus taught and so it belongs to us all.  The prayer that Jesus taught is deeply etched into the memories of many and so we pray it because even though we may have forgotten much else in our lives, we remember this prayer.

    Prayer is a gift from God, an invitation to be in conversation with God.  Prayer is both shared and formal and at the same time the most personal thing we do.  Prayer is as simple as every breath we take and yet we often make it more complex than it needs to be.  Jesus taught us to pray using the words we call The Lord’s Prayer, but more importantly Jesus taught us that God listens to our prayers.  A praying conversation with God includes both our requests and taking time to listen for God’s answer back to us.  The answers to our prayers are not always what we ask for, but they are what God knows we need.

    On our faith journey through life we will pray many prayers.  Some will be prayers of thanksgiving, some will prayers of sorrow, and some will be prayers of asking for God’s mercy.  We pray, always trusting in God’s abundant grace and love.  We pray, hoping that our prayers will not only change us but give us the strength to change the world around us.

    Jesus promised that wherever two or three are gathered, he will be with us.  
Whenever or wherever we pray this prayer, by ourselves or with one another, in church, at work or in school, in a hospital room, a nursing home, or our own home, God is present and listening.  Always!

    May you be blessed by your prayers spoken and unspoken,

    Pastor Jocelyn Carson