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Teach us to pray: A Prayer-filled Journey

 

Most of us have experienced ...

  • ... situations so dire or desperate or painful that we wanted to pray but couldn't find the words;
  • ... a prayer time that moved from practice to routine to rote;
  • ... the "gulp" at realizing that guiding a church committee included spiritual as well as programmatic leadership;
  • ... a longing to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17) as we moved through the day;
  • ... a desire for a deeper relationship with God, more faithfulness as disciples of Jesus Christ, greater openness to the Holy Spirit.

The questions that flow from each of these lead to what the disciples asked of Jesus: "Lord, teach us to pray." (Luke 11:1)

With this issue, Interpreter and The Upper Room launch a yearlong project including articles in the print and digital magazines, webinars and conversation and other content on the "Teach Us to Pray" website, www.umc.org/pray, that will launch in mid-January.

It's a natural collaboration. Our Upper Room colleagues and Interpreter have both had requests—from you—for more information to help you grow spiritually and as spiritual leaders. In coming issues, we plan to look at:

  • Praying Through Scripture (March-April)
  • Intercessory Prayer (May-June)
  • Praying with Our Bodies (July-August)
  • Praying with the Ancients (September-October)
  • Praying Through the Senses (November-December)

We'll introduce each general topic in the print magazine and explore it further with additional articles in the digital edition (available free to print subscribers), on websites and in webinar conversations.

As we explore different prayer practices, we will learn what's meaningful, what is challenging, even what, perhaps, isn't worth the effort. We will also have ways to share our experiences with the power of prayer.

We begin with a sense of expectation asking, "Lord, teach us to pray."

The Rev. Kathy Noble, editor, Interpreter and Interpreter OnLine, publications of United Methodist Communications, Nashville, Tenn.