Today's guest blogger is Andrew Sach, who leads the 10:30am congregation at St Helen's
At the 1030 service throughout January, we were learning how to pray by looking carefully at some of the prayers in Scripture - those of Daniel, King David, the sons of Korah, the apostles Peter and John, and Jesus himself. Of course there are dangers in turning specific prayers prayed at specific times into models for our own prayers - none of us were carried off into exile by the Babylonians (as Daniel was); none of us will be father of a dynasty from which the Messiah will come (as David was); none of us are apostles, who regularly perform miraculous signs to authenticate our ministry (as Peter and John were). We need to set each prayer in its biblical context. But having done so, there is much to learn:
1) about the theology of prayer. In each case, we discovered the believer's approach to God is grounded in something he knows about the character of God. Daniel can fess up about his people’s sin because he knows about God’s mercy. The Sons of Korah can cry out to God in times of trouble because they know about God’s faithfulness. Peter and John can ask God to grant them boldness in evangelism because they believe he is Sovereign, even over human decisions. We pray more confidently as we get to know God better.
2) about the manner of prayer. The Psalms speak to God with sometimes startling frankness. David speaks to God with exuberant and overflowing praise. But Jesus, just before giving us the Lord’s Prayer, reminds us that it is our relationship with God as Father that guarantees the Christian’s prayer will be heard, not special techniques or gimmicks.
Image: Felix Ling