Prayer changes things. We respond as the disciples, “Lord, teach us to pray,” but we continue to doubt whether God hears or cares about our prayers. After giving the disciples a model for prayer, Jesus then gives an illustration to emphasize his teaching and to reassure us that God not only hears but cares and responds.

Prayer is not a superstitious recitation or a blank check to fulfill our wishes. Prayer does not guarantee financial prosperity. Prayer is a discipline. Prayer is asking, seeking, knocking, and waiting. And God, the perfect parent, hears and responds.

Prayer is spending time with God. We can talk with God about relationships within our community, about the needs of others, and about ourselves. Sometimes, life overwhelms us and we have no words at all.

Jesus encourages us to pray often and to persevere in our prayers. God is not only high and holy but also close and intimate. God cares more for us than we can comprehend. Jesus reminds us that as much as we love our families and friends, God loves us even more.

Prayer changes things. Prayer changes me as I discipline myself to spend time with God. Prayer changes my outlook on the world as I pray deeply for healing in our world. Prayer changes how I relate to those around me as I pray for them and for our relationships. Prayer changes how I see others and how I see myself.

Loving God, help me to keep a discipline of prayer for the sake of change in myself, in others, and in the world. Remind me that praying is spending time with you. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 11:1-13

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Lectionary Week
July 22–28, 2019
Scripture Overview

Hosea can be a difficult book. This prophet is called to live with an unfaithful wife as an image of how Israel is unfaithful to God. Yet even in this initial statement of judgment, God includes a promise of restoration. Psalm 85 appeals to God’s steadfast love. God has become angry with the people for their unfaithfulness, and the people appeal for God’s mercy, which they are confident they will receive. The Colossians reading warns against replacing or even supplementing the simple truth of the gospel with human wisdom, religious rules, or anything else. We have fellowship with Christ through our faith. Jesus teaches us to ask God for what we need and for what we want just as we would ask a human parent.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Hosea 1:2-10. How is God reminding you of your covenant relationship?
Read Psalm 85. When have you needed to pray for restoration in your life? in your relationships with family and friends? in your relationship with God?
Read Colossians 2:6-19. Paul teaches us the value of community. How has your community restored you as you seek to be like Christ?
Read Luke 11:1-13. How has praying regularly changed you? If you do not pray regularly, start a practice now. Look for the ways it changes you.

Respond by posting a prayer.

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