This weekend we will think about “Freshening Up.” And I’m not talking about taking a vacation or checking our make-up or grabbing a quick shower. What I hope we will discover in the text from Luke 11 are ways that we can freshen up our spiritual vitality and relationship with God and each other.
The text will sound very familiar—almost. The passage begins with Luke’s version of what we call “The Lord’s Prayer.” The other version is in Matthew 6:9-13. It might be helpful to read both. What is the same? What is different? How do they differ from the prayer we pray during our worship services? Is it possible to try to read these words again as if it is the first time—with new eyes and alert minds and open hearts?
And you are probably aware that the prayer has been in the news lately. The phrase, “Lead us not into temptation,” has been troublesome. The Pope is going to change it to “do not let us fall into temptation.” What do you think about the new translation? Does it make sense—or just complicate matters because “we’ve always prayed it the other way?” Prayer is one of our most important spiritual practices, but a lot of people have a lot of questions about it. For what can we pray? Does God answer? Why do some prayers seem to get a response and others seem to be unanswered?