7. What is prayer?

He had a book of prayers for all occasions which he referred to if he wanted something done, like finding his car keys when he couldn’t remember where he had left them.

His new found relationship with Jesus, which he renewed each day, was making him realise if he wanted to be more like Jesus, he had better have a closer look at prayer. It seems Jesus used to disappear, sometimes for a full night at a time, to communicate with His Father.

He doubted Jesus had a book of prayers to refer to and he thought about how close the relationship must have been between Jesus and The Father for Jesus to have spent so much time in ‘prayer’ with The Father. 

The disciples obviously wondered about prayer as well, because they asked Jesus how they should go about it. Jesus taught them the ‘Our Father.’ Perhaps then, he thought, the ‘Our Father’ might be a good place to start to understand about prayer.

Already he had looked closely at the wording of ‘Thy will be done on earth.’ Because Jesus had said that ‘no one comes to The Father except through me,’ he decided that any request to The Father might best be channelled through Jesus. He thought that for this to occur he must really believe in Jesus and all that he had taught us during his 3 years with the disciples. He realised that the public life of Jesus was not just a meet and greet tour but an extended training programme, initially for the disciples, but in the long term, it was for us as well.

He recounted how Jesus had said if we ask, we will receive. However, he recalled in the past he had asked fervently that his sick friend get well again and his friend died. This had made him wonder about whether God actually heard his prayer. It wasn’t until he looked at the ‘thy will be done’ line in the Our Father that he realised The Father must have used his prayer in a way that fitted in with ‘His Will’ for his friend. Even Jesus begged not to have to go through the suffering and death he knew was ahead of him but accepted The Father’s ‘Will.’

He thought to himself why should he tell The Father how to do His job. Maybe in the future he should just pray for the person, because The Father knew what was best for that person under the circumstances to ensure His Will was done.

He reckoned, if he continued to trust Jesus each day as a little child, then maybe he just needed to set aside some time to clear his mind of what was happening in his life and just allow the presence of his God to seep into him. For, he reasoned, didn’t God know his every thought and need. He felt more comfortable with this form of ‘prayer’ than reading from his book containing someone else’s prayers.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s faith.

More That’s faith – Transition Series stories