This is a guest post by Laura Tringali.
This morning in prayer, I was reflecting on the story of Jesus’ teaching on prayer in the Gospel of Luke. The Lord’s Prayer appears in various forms in all three synoptic gospels (Mt 6:9-15; Mk 11:25-26; and Lk 11:2-4); however, it is in the Gospel of Luke that this teaching begins with the disciples asking Jesus to teach them to pray.
I wondered: What has the Our Father taught me about how to pray? So I pulled out a copy of the prayer and began phrase-by-phrase praying it in my own words, and it sounded like this:
My Father, whose love gazes upon all creation, You are glorified without end in Heaven. I offer this morning my praises of Your majesty. May Your Kingdom be built here on earth to reflect Your Heavenly Kingdom; and, may I do my part today.
Grant me the strength and resources needed this day to serve You. Forgive me for [here I listed out everything burdening my heart] as I forgive [listed specific situations in which I need grace to forgive]; and I offer to You those I hope can forgive me [again, listed specifics].
God, protect me from evil and falling into temptation. For I choose to serve Your Kingdom, trust in Your power, and give You glory today and forever. Amen.
All of a sudden, I am realizing that today the Lord has work for me. I have just begun my day by offering myself in service of the Lord and trusting that the Lord will provide for me to do it. I have also made an effort to let go of my shortcomings that weigh me down and given recognition to that reality that forgiveness is too difficult for me to do alone. I can’t help but wonder how God might transform my life if I were to truly pray about these things every day.
The structure of this prayer strikes me too. I began by praising God, then moved to asking for my needs, and closed with recommitting myself to God. I will hold this observation especially with me, and whenever I turn to the Lord in prayer throughout the day I will (1) praise, (2) ask, and (3) recommit.
Thank you, Lord, for teaching me to pray.
What might it sound like if you prayed the Our Father in your words?
Laura Tringali, born and raised in Hershey, PA, received her BS in Psychology with minors in Nonprofit Studies and Classics at The Ohio State University. After graduating with recognition from the university for her research on Paul’s theology in the New Testament, Laura is now pursuing a Master in Theological Studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.