Monday, May 16, 2016

The Prayer Jesus Taught Us

At church, I've been hearing a sweet little voice behind me recite the words to The Lord's Prayer. The higher-pitched voice joins the chorus of adult voices and, for me, has added a whole new dimension to the unison recitation of "the prayer Jesus taught us."

We recite it together every week during our worship service at Stafford United Methodist Church.  It's one of those things that - if we're honest - we may even say by rote, not even thinking about the words and what they mean.
Byers United Methodist Church, Pratt County, my childhood church
I've been going to church since my parents carried me through the doors of the Byers United Methodist Church more years ago than I like to admit.  I don't remember intentionally learning the words to The Lord's Prayer. Perhaps I did, but it's also possible that I learned them vicariously while sitting in a pew marked with my ancestors' names, and hearing them repeated, week after week.

Byers United Methodist Church
For that young worshiper, learning something new forces her to concentrate, to think about the words that are so familiar to the rest of us.  My friend, Debora, helped me to look at The Lord's Prayer in a new way, too. At church, Debora's mom handed me a 14-day devotional, "Praying The Lord's Prayer at Noon" (Prayer Point Press, 2015) and told me that Deborah thought I might like to read it. (Deborah is from Stafford, but now lives out of state. We keep in touch on Facebook and when she comes to visit her mom.)

The devotional is written by Dr. Terry Teykl, a United Methodist pastor in Texas who also works with a Christian radio station, KSBJ. He proposed praying The Lord's Prayer at noon daily, calling it "Pray Down at High Noon."
Stained glass in the Via Christi, St. Francis, chapel. Taken when we visited a friend in the hospital in April.
In the devotional, Teykl says:
"It's a challenging time to be the Church of Jesus Christ. There are a lot of things that we, as Christians, don't agree on. But one thing we can do is offer the prayer Jesus taught us to pray back to God in humility and unity. The brief passage, roughly 21 seconds when spoke, is simple enough to be prayed by children, yet rich enough to have fueled volumes of literature. It was Jesus' instruction to His disciples, and, as a result, it holds a sacred place across many denominations. Maybe it can be a gathering point where we can lay down our own personal or political agendas and simply ask God to come."
The Lord's Prayer covers it all, Teykl asserts, "large things, small things, material things, spiritual things, inward things and outward things."
Stained glass at the Via Christi, St. Francis, Chapel of the Sorrowful Mother
In the devotional, Tekyl breaks down The Lord's Prayer's phrases and creates a two-page reflection for each of the 14 days. He also includes a different Biblical translation of the familiar prayer each day.

It is believed that the early Christians regularly spoke The Lord’s Prayer at morning, noon, and night.

Would the world change if we committed to this simple plan ... praying The Lord's Prayer each day at noon? Maybe. Maybe not. But maybe the thing it would change is me. It might be worth planting the seed and seeing what happens.
Via Chrsti, St. Francis, Chapel of the Sorrowful Mother
"Imagine the Body of Christ praying The Lord’s Prayer all around the world. As it becomes noon in each time zone, our sisters and brothers will be praying for God’s Kingdom to come and God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven." 
Larry Bauman,
Ardmore UMC District superintendent
Maybe I need to approach it with child-like wonder, like that little voice behind me in the church pew.
Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse, Concordia, Kansas


  1. 'Our Father who art in Heaven
    Hallowed be thy name'
    I love that prayer and also learned it as a wee one. Went to Church school 1 through 12. A prayer we said every day.
    Thank you, Kim for this blog.

    1. You are most welcome! Thanks for taking time to comment. I truly appreciate that. (I love your canola photos on your blog today.)

  2. Kim,
    I try to say the Lord's Prayer with meaning everyday. Some days are more routine than other's. I have thought about this very idea and am on the same page as you. The devotional sounds interesting. I hope you enjoy this journey of prayerful understanding.

    Gorgeous stained glass windows, thanks for sharing.

    1. The devotional was very good. I put the link to the publisher in the blog post, if you're interested.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Cindy! I hope things are going well on your journey.