We started a new teaching series last night at Kairos called Learning to Pray: Six Postures of Prayer. I wrote a bit about the series on our Kairos blog here.
Basically, we’re looking at the Lord’s Prayer and framing the six sections of the prayer with six postures. Not just ideas (focused on the mind) and not just feelings (focused on the heart) but postures – something you do. A way to position your heart, mind, and body and focus yourself on praying the way that Jesus taught us to pray.
I spoke last night on praying from a posture of wonder, an invitation offered through the opening lines of the Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name
Every part of this phrase invites us into a new way of considering the world and our relationship with God.
Our. It’s not just between me and the big guy upstairs. Our signifies we’re part of a larger community – the cloud of witnesses past, present, and future, local and global, who share with us at the table when we pray.
Father. Grant Osborne says that the praying to God as abba was Jesus’ “great contribution to Jewish prayer theology” which was often more formal and ceremonial. Jesus teaches us to pray to God not as a cosmic dictator or all-powerful-yet-disinterested-deity but as Father.
In Heaven. God’s not just a cuddly parent in a small house. God occupies all the space of the cosmos. God is intimate yet cosmic in scope.
May Your Name be Kept Holy. God is something other than us. The Name (Hebrew, HaShem), throughout the story of the Scriptures, is revealed to the people of God but kept distinct and separate, just as God is relationally present (particularly in the incarnation of Jesus) yet is far vaster and set apart than we could imagine.
All this to say, Jesus invites us to pray from a place of wonder. God is our God and our Father present in heaven globally and throughout history and is holy and separate from us while maintaining an intimate closeness. This beautiful paradox of intimacy and otherness is to be the basis of our prayers.
We don’t often like paradoxes, and we don’t often take time to wonder. Instead, we are content with the mundane mediocrity of our lives.
And because we’re stunted by mediocrity (as Mike Yaconelli says in Dangerous Wonder) our prayers often fail to take on the posture of wonder Jesus invites us into.
So this week:
What are big and small opportunities to find yourself caught up in wonder this week?
What are mundane parts of your life that you often overlook that, instead, you could find amazing beauty in?
It is in these moments of awe, wonder, and beauty that we should be prompted to pray to the God who intricately weaves together stories of brokenness, mediocrity, and shame into beautiful tapestries of grace, healing, and redemption.