Celebrates Twenty Years of equipping and supporting faith communities!

A message for the week starting on Sunday 24 July 2022

Lectionary Week: 7th Sunday of Pentecost

Prescribed Texts: Hosea 1:2-10, Psalm 85, Colossians 2:6-15 (16-19), Luke 11:1-13

The Importance of Prayer

Focus Text: Luke 11: 1-13

Prayer can take many forms, such as praying softly or out loud, or even very short or long prayers.

In Luke 11, while Jesus was praying in a certain place, one of His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. Jesus then taught them the “Our Father” prayer, which is also called the Model Prayer. This prayer consists out of two main parts. The first part consists out of two requests in which God’s glory is sought. It refers to the fact that God’s Name must be honoured and that we will acknowledge that He rules, also in our lives.

The second part consists out of three requests in which the person lays down her/his needs before God. Firstly, we ask that God should provide for our daily needs. “Give us this day our daily bread”. Bread is a symbol of basic food, which we need for physical survival. It’s just a shame that so many people do not even have the money to buy bread. It is therefore our responsibility to help our neighbour in times of need.

Secondly, we also ask God to forgive our transgressions, just as we forgive those who transgress against us. Forgiveness is extremely important in the time in which we live.

Thirdly, let us ask God to help us not to be tempted . . . not to willingly walk into situations where we know our weaknesses, but to ask the Holy Spirit for His wisdom.

An extremely important aspect is that God’s Kingdom of love, peace, reconciliation, justice and righteousness must take place in this world. It is therefore up to us as Christians to pray for it, but also to actively participate so that it can become a reality.

Jesus teaches His disciples that they can speak to the Father through prayer. They can trust God and thus He will be able to provide for their needs. Jesus calls God, “Father”, which indicates a very intimate and personal relationship. So, God is not only the Creator of us and the universe, but He is also the One who provides for all our needs.

In verse 9, Jesus stated: “Pray and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be open to you”. This is God’s promise to us. So, let’s take the liberty of praying to the Lord for all of our needs, but also to give thanks for all His blessings. As a follower of Jesus, I have a calling to pray for others as well.

To think about:  Do I just pray for myself, or do I pray daily for people who are HIV positive and are struggling? Am I actively involved in making a positive difference in the lives of others? Is my place of worship an HIV-friendly place of acceptance and support?

Written by: Rev. Benjamin Martin, Calvyn Protestant Church Minister and trained Churches Channels of Hope (CCoH) facilitator