“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