Welcome to Doctor's Life Support, daily Bible readings for busy doctors...
'... one of his disciples said to him 'Lord, teach us to pray...' Luke 11:1
Here was a straight request from a disciple, who was by inference ('teach us') speaking for others. They wanted to pray. So they turned for guidance to their Master. They knew he prayed. They also wanted to pray.
How often do we really want to pray? In an emergency, yes. But what about it at other times? Is it just a duty, even a chore? Do we then pray perfunctorily, our minds half on something else. Do we just 'say our prayers'?
Sometimes (too often) it is like that with me. But last night I was praying about many things when I suddenly found I just wanted to say -- and did say: 'Thank you, Lord, for letting me pray. It is so good just to pray. To talk to you'.
Why don't I always feel like that? many reasons why, I suppose: laziness, pre-occupation with other things (not least with myself), not in real touch with God...and ultimately being too stupid to know what is good for me and to get it into my head and heart that Almighty God wants me to call him 'Father' and to talk things over with him.
There is really so much to talk about with our heavenly Father, different things in each of our own lives and in the lives of others: personal needs of people (patients are people, family and friends are people, critics and enemies [if we have any] are people), problems, hopes, things enjoyed, disappointments, achievements, failures. And, yes, sins to be confessed. And gratitude to be expressed. Many many things. Make up your own list. And above all God's presence with us and his love shown to us in Christ, with all that it means and should draw out from us in adoration. The little gem of a prayer that he taught his disciples says so much of this in beautiful miniature.
Lord, teach us to pray... and help us to want to pray.
Further reading: Lk 11:1-4. Mt 6:9-13.