the efficiency and beauty of the Lord’s Prayer have been brought to mind.
Life is busy, full of stimuli, things to do, places to go, and work to be done. Prayer can be like just one more thing swirling around waiting to be grasped. But how to pray? How to know what to say, what to ponder, what to remember in the 24 hour news and information world? There can be simultaneously too many things and things that escape memory all at the same time.
Enter the Lord’s Prayer, beautiful, poetic, and restful. Simple and direct it can, by itself, contain in broad strokes all that the faithful person wants to say, all they need. If time and the craziness of life rise up it provides a moment of peace, a place where the words themselves point to the deep longings of our heart and God is able to both hear the prayer and those longings between the lines.
Yes, I have wishes and specifics but those are already known to God. I inform Him of nothing in expressing them. Mostly it seems in these days what I need to do is not fill God’s ear with my endless words but simply put myself in His care and the Lord’s Prayer is, above all else, an act by which this is done. Short on specifics and long on the broadest human needs it says, simply, “You are my heavenly Father, help me to want what you want and trust you for everything else.” There is great peace in that, the freedom of not worrying about every little thing that God already knows and releasing the worry of the details to the One who knows and loves me more than I know or love myself.
Truly, the God who knows my longings also knows what, in the end, is first, best, and most conducive to my greatest good. I’m not to that point of total reliance and peace yet, but this prayer, this Lord’s Prayer is increasingly my friend on the journey there.