By Jake Hall 

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 7/9/2015

“Jambo,” it’s Swahili for “Hello.” “Jambo” has echoed throughout the halls of Highland Hills during our Kingdom of the Son Vacation Bible School. This safari-themed week has examined the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer like an explorer on safari learning the landscape and experiencing local life. In the New Testament, the disciples ask Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” The Lord’s Prayer is a model prayer that Jesus taught his disciples. The prayer teaches us about the landscape of the Christian life and living an adventure of faith on which we embark when we embody the prayer. Each word of the prayer, from the opening salutation to the powerful benediction, provides insight into the way of following Jesus. Even the “Hello” is important.

The prayer begins with “Our Father.” At the beginning of the prayer, to articulate “Our Father” names that we never pray alone. When we pray, we are always praying with the community of all who name God as father. The life of the community informs our prayer and our prayer informs the life of our community. The salutation connects all of us as children of God, and that is just the beginning.

John Essick writes, “The journey on which Christ’s model prayer takes us is a dangerous adventure. Our teacher, after all, was crucified for living out its petitions. Praying in the way Jesus taught does not simply make us better people; praying in this way makes us Christian.”

Let us contemplate the prayer in a new way, learning from our youngest members how to listen and learn the prayer in our hearts and not just how to say it from memory. Lord, teach us to pray.