“Lord, teach us to pray,” the disciples asked in Luke 11. Not that they didn’t pray, all practising Jews did. But Christ’s prayers showed them they didn’t know how to pray as God desired. And they wanted to know how.
So they did what we sometimes overlook. They asked the Lord to show them, teach them. The only way any of us can truly follow in his footsteps.
Lord, show us how.
Lord, show us how to pray like you and be like you…
Show us how to do that, which for us, is impossible. To love the unloveable. Those who think only of themselves or purposely wrong others. How do we love even them?
God’s lesson from a concentration camp.
After their arrival in a WWII concentration camp, Corrie ten Boom with her sister Betsy, stood naked for inspection, watching as a camp matron beat a fellow prisoner. “Oh the poor woman!” Corrie cried.
“Yes. May God forgive her,” Betsy replied. And Corrie realized that it was for the soul of the brutal Nazi guard that her sister prayed.
Later, after watching a guard beat her own sister, Corrie declared her hate for the woman. “No, don’t hate,” Betsy told her. “Pray for that woman. They know how to hate, and look what it’s done to them!” “How,” Corrie asked, “do you pray for such monsters?”
How Lord? Show us how.
After discovering that their barracks were flea ridden Corrie had again asked how. “How,” she cried, “can we live in such a place?”So Betsy asked the Lord to show them. Show them how.
And that needs to be the cry of our heart when we find ourselves struggling to obey Christ’s most difficult teachings, unable to do what we know is right.
How can we love our enemies? Die to ourselves? Curb our tongue when angry? Love with patience those who are aggravating? How Lord, how?
And so he shows us how to do the hard things by revealing more of himself.
He teaches us from his word, his life and his teachings. We read of him loving his enemies, praying for those who wronged him, putting others first, and dying to himself.
And we start to sense heaven coming down to us. We feel his closeness to his Father. We perceive all that is good, holy, and righteous.
And our spirit yearns toward it. We want to do right, be close to him, and become like him.
There are no quick and easy shortcuts.
No 1-2-3 steps to follow. Because we only learn to obey Christ’s hardest commands by staying close to him, yearning for him, and asking him to change our hearts day by day.
Each and every time it’s a new battle. A repeat of lessons we thought mastered. And each time it’s difficult all over again.
So each time we pray again, “Lord, show us how.” And staying close to the One our hearts yearn for, we learn of him. And little by little, become more and more like him.