“Lord, Teach Us to Pray!”
One day, Jesus’ disciples asked, “Lord, teach us to pray!” Then, Jesus taught them, “the Lord Prayer,” which we pray at every Sunday worship service. Then, he said to his disciples, “Seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds, and to him, who knocks, the door will be opened.” This is Jesus’ teaching for prayer. We pray to God and we believe that God will answer. We seek the proofs from God, and we knock and we believe that the door will be opened.
Have you had any memorable prayer moments where you asked God for an answer, where you sought the proofs from God, and where you knocked and the door opened? I have one that I would like to share with you. When I was 11 years old, there was a boom for video games. Many friends of mine had video games which were connected to a TV. I really wanted one. But I definitely knew that my father wouldn’t buy me one. We couldn’t afford it. The video game that I wanted was so expensive. At that time, it was almost a hundred dollars. It was expensive and I knew that. But I really wanted it. One day, I got courage and went to my father’s work place and bagged him to buy the video game. He said “No, no, no, you know we can’t buy it.” My father was very stubborn and if he said no, then it was no. He wouldn’t change his mind.
However, I couldn’t give up. I went back home and locked the door of my room and kneeled. And I prayed to God. The only thing that I wanted was that video game. I focused on it while I was praying. At some point, I prayed crying. I was literally crying out to God for the video game. I am not exaggerating. I cried and cried. I didn’t want my family to hear my crying, so I covered myself with a blanket. I eagerly prayed kneeling under it for almost 50 minutes. I was 11 years old and cried out to God down on my knees for 50 minutes. After the prayer, I was confident that God would change my father’s mind. I don’t know where the confidence came from. Obviously, as a child, I had a simple faith in God. I believe that at that moment, God would definitely answer my prayer.
So, right after the prayer, I went to my father’s work place again and strongly asked, “Hey, Dad, please buy me the video game.” My father answered, “How much is it?” I was surprised that my father didn’t say “no” and I knew it was a good sign. I told him the price and he said, “Let’s go to the store.” Finally, I got the video game.
It was one of the strongest experiences in my prayer life. 11 years old, focusing on one subject, and kneeling and crying out to God for 50 minutes. I can say that this experience has changed my prayer life.
Since then, I have learned and experienced that prayer is a way to communicate to God. We can hear God’s voice and God also listens to our voice as well. Prayer is a way to prove that we are connected to God. Someone expresses that prayer is the breathing of our souls.
Also, I have learned and experienced that prayer is not only a way to connect ourselves to God, but also a way to ask for something we need. There are many things we need in our physical and spiritual lives. We need financial security, health, safety, and happiness in relation with God and others. So we pray for those things with the hope that God will answer. Sometimes, God answers so fast but sometimes, God answers so late. Sometimes, God answers our prayers in a way we do not expect. The sure thing is that God always listens to our prayers.
Moreover, I have learned that Prayer is a commitment to participate in the work of the coming reign of God. We pray together as our bond of trust that we are committed to being in right relationship with God and with one another. Prayer would give us greater insight, strengthen our faith, and make us confident in the relationship.
We already have many things to pray to God for ourselves, our church and our neighbors. Let us pray for them with passion and faith that God will answer. God is waiting for the moment when we come to the Holy One and sit and pray.
Let us pray.
Dear Lord, we give thanks to you for the message today. We are thankful that we can pray to you. Now help us keep praying to you for ourselves, our neighbors, and our church. And bless us to grow in relationship with you and neighbors. Amen.