Learning to Pray From Scriptures

By Sandra Seaborn, Associate Priest
Listen Online

Posted on August 7, 2016

Hungry? Wet? Burp? Sleep? Cold? Hot? Help! The cries of infants are fierce, but often their intent is unclear. Without words, the cry’s volume often increases until the caring adult responds to the precipitating problem. As the baby grows, so does the variety of noises and sounds the child can make. In time, the little mouths start repeating what they hear and forming their own combinations. In time words come out – to the great delight of the parents. I remember keeping a list of the words my kids knew at 12 and 18 months, amazed by the exponential growth as they seemed to absorb vocabulary from the air. Learning to speak takes time, practice and exposure to language.
Learning to pray, is a lot like learning to speak. Learning to pray takes time, practice and exposure to prayer. During this sermon series, we are going to listen to the language of prayer found in the scriptures. We will start by listening to a parable of Jesus comparing two forms of public prayer. After hearing from Jesus, we will turn back to the Old Testament, seeing how people prayed in different times and places. We will listen to Solomon as he asks for wisdom. We will sit with Jonah in the dark as he begs for rescue. We will stand with Habakkuk as he shouts for justice. We will kneel with Paul as he seeks the power of God’s resurrected presence, rooted in Jesus’ love.  
Our five-week series touches only a handful of prayers in the Bible. There are many more, such as Hannah’s cry for a child, Miriam’s song of victory, Psalms full of intercession and lament, and the “Lord’s Prayer” taught by Jesus himself. We hope the passages highlighted will be a starting point to explore scriptures as an aid to your conversations with Jesus. We find companionship from those who have walked with God before us.