This Lent, writer Amy Boucher Pye encourages us to explore the prayers of Jesus.
The season leading up to Easter might be one you observe, or it might not be. I’ve long appreciated this time of preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. When I’ve made an effort – such as fasting from chocolate or reading the Bible daily – I’ve found the season of Easter to be that much more meaningful.
To observe Lent you don’t have to give up social media or sweets; adding a practice can be an enriching way to mark your intentions before God. One thing you could do to get to know Jesus better is to immerse yourself in his prayers. We have seven of them recorded in the gospels and a new online course that Waverley Abbey produced will guide you through six of them.
Doing the course during Lent is especially appropriate, because Jesus prayed his last three prayers during the last days of his life – his prayer for his friends after they’ve had their last supper together, then his prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane, and finally his prayers on the cross before he dies.
Jesus prayed his last three prayers during the last days of his life.
Each session digs into one of Jesus’ prayers, and I’m especially excited about the conversations I had with Micha Jazz, the dean of Waverley Abbey College, on each of these. Micha is incredibly smart but has a wonderful knack for putting things simply. I also lead prayer exercise based on each prayer of Jesus so that we can incorporate his prayers into our hearts and minds. My hope is that this course will lead you into God’s presence. The atmospheric ruins of the Cistercian Abbey from the 1100s at Waverley Abbey, where we filmed it, certainly helps.
Here’s a taster of the prayer exercise from the first session, on the Lord’s Prayer:
Take some time to pray Jesus’ prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you receptive to his movement in your life.
- Our Father in heaven: Our loving Parent; our creator; our redeemer; our Saviour. Take a few moments to think of other names for God (you may wish to write them down).
- Hallowed be your name: Offer praises to God, who is holy, majestic and pure.
- Your kingdom come: Ask God to show you one way that He is bringing His kingdom to your part of the earth.
- Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven: Ponder an area of your life that you’ve been stubbornly holding onto and ask God to help you release it to Him.
- Give us today our daily bread: Give voice to one of your needs – in whatever form that takes.
- Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us: Ask God to show you who you need to forgive and what sins you need to confess.
- Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: Ask God for protection from evil and self-deception.
- For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever: Affirm God’s goodness and grace, from yesterday to today to the end of time.
You can order the course on the prayers of Jesus via Waverley Abbey, including the small-group guide. Join Amy at Waverley Abbey on 2 April, when we’ll explore the last three prayers of Jesus.