July 28, 2013


“He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’ . . .”
Luke 11:1 (NRSV)

My first job out of college was as a home economist for a utility company in South Dakota. My territory covered nine counties, miles of open spaces peppered with friendly small towns. I began writing a column of household hints for their weekly newspapers.

My articles appeared somewhere in the middle of the paper, usually next to a pastoral message supplied by various members of the local ministerial association.

The only article I clipped and saved contained hints for spiritual good manners – how to pray in respectful terms. I kept it until the newsprint disintegrated. The pastor’s simple words, “Please, Thank you, I’m sorry, I love you and How can I help?” continue to impact my prayer life.

This helpful advice nudges me to say “please” before rushing to ask God for something for myself or others and “thank you” in faith even before the answer is revealed. I‘m prompted to extend “I’m sorry” to the people on the receiving end of my blunders or hurtful words. As I say “I love you” in quiet time with the Creator who loves me, my spirit rejoices and my awareness produces new ways to help my neighbor.

Lord, teach us to pray. Amen

How can I mind my prayer manners this week?

Written by Nancy Alice Morton

The Bridge is a collaborative ministry by four Downtown Des Moines churches. The Bridge Meditations are part of the ministry of The Bridge which is working to enrich the lives of those working, living and visiting downtown Des Moines. Programs developed by The Bridge offer spiritual formation and development, professional counseling, holistic health and family support. The Connection Cafe is a Bridge ministry which provides a free mid-day meal five days per week. The Connection Cafe is located next to the YWCA on Grand Avenue and is supported by many churches and civic organizations in its ministry. For more information, or to volunteer to help with The Bridge, The Connection Cafe or other Downtown Des Moines ministries contact Rob Hoover at 515-771-1481 or by email at theconnectioncafe@hotmail.com

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