One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of His diciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray…”(Luke 11:1).
It was, by any definition, an absurd mishap.
On January 13, 2012 the Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia needlessly deviated from her planned route and intentionally ventured into waters known by mariners to be perilously stocked with rocks and reefs.
While only 150 meters from shore, the vessel struck an underwater obstruction and capsized. Even though land was within reach, the seas were calm, and the vessel possessed state-of-the-art rescue gear, 32 lives were lost.
And there it has rested for now 30 months, an almost 300-meter-long, half-billion dollar constant, but unwanted symbol of the horrors of that night. Although salvage work continues this week, the mammoth hull remains a marker — a sombre reminder of the heavy cost of underestimating looming risk, danger, disaster.
As we move thru the voyage of our lives, I wonder if someday we will experience deep regret for major spiritual underestimation? For needlessly deviating into perilous waters? For ignoring warning markers and underestimating looming risk, danger, disaster?
What might that be for you?
I suspect that for many of us, we will live with the regret for having underestimated – and therefore under-practiced – the discipline of prayer.
Our Saviour was characterized by His prayer-life. His disciples recognized that as a source of His power and intimacy with the Father, and sought to learn from the Master.
The result was the Lord’s Prayer.
Only 50 words long in Greek (Luke’s version), word for word nothing in all literature has received the attention – been read, recited, and memorized by more people in history – than this short instructional prayer.
It has been said, “The Lord’s Prayer commands perennial interest – because we know it so little and because we know it so well.”*
Takeaway: Lord, teach me to pray. Enlarge my spiritual appetite and capacity to communicate with you, to more highly value the unique privilege I have to converse with the God of the Bible.
*John Reumann (American Lutheran New Testament professor, scholar, died 2008)