Hands Together In Prayer

A reading for Tuesday, May 20, 2014: Matthew 6:7-15.

Today's lesson is Jesus teaching how to pray with what has become known as the Lord's Prayer.

Several years ago, following a Session meeting I invited our church elders to stand, join hands, and say the Lord's Prayer together. It was during a time when we were preaching a sermon series on the Lord's Prayer in worship. Most of our elders had been carefully considering each and every line of the prayer in worship and assumed the reason we ended our meeting this way was the series, as I did.

Yet, hand in hand in prayer was a more powerful moment than any of us realized.

Often our elders debate with one another searching for what is best for the congregation. Sometimes feelings can get hurt, and even sometimes elders get angry with one another. Our meetings can be intense.

However, joining hands and saying the prayer Jesus taught was a reminder that we are the same. We are all graced by God with Jesus Christ. In the end, we are no better or worse than others, and all of us are equally loved by God. This has become the way we end all our Session meetings.

Closing our meetings with the Lord's Prayer is a way of unity. Rather than hearing an eloquent prayer uttered by me or some other elder, each says together what we believe and in what we trust. No matter how intense things are, and how feelings might get, our brother or sister in Christ is as close as the hands we hold to our right and to our left. It's a gift.

Sometimes we are intimated to say prayers aloud, especially in a group. Next time you get the chance and are asked to pray, consider joining hands and offering the Lord's Prayer. Perhaps there is more power in such hand to hand prayer than any of us realize.


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