Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lord, Teach Us to Pray...with Eyes wide Open

Our texts for this fifth of eight weeks journeying through the petitions of the Lord's Prayer are Luke 11:1-13 and Exodus 16:11-32, which can be read here.

Most of us were taught to pray with our eyes closed, and for good reason: closing our eyes is a good way to not be as distracted by all the stimuli around us, to focus in on the God we are seeking, to use our other senses--our ears, our hearts--to perceive God's voice.

But I think this week's focal line of the Lord's Prayer is meant to be prayed with eyes wide open. Because, after all, we are praying about and for not something ethereal, but very tangible, visible, real: bread to sustain us. The food we need to survive each day. This petition is, among other things, an invitation to see: the depth of our needs and dependence on God, and the needs and situation of our neighbors--those with whom we seek to live on earth as we would in heaven.

So here is what I would invite you to do this week: to pray through pictures.  Below is a link to a photo essay done by one of my favorite journalist/photographers,  Peter Menzel, for his book, "Hungry Planet: What the World Eats." Take time to scroll through these pictures and Consider...what does it look like to pray with and for daily bread with our brothers and sisters around the world?  What might it look like for the needs of all to be supplied? And how might we pray and partner with God for this to happen?

What the World Eats, Part I

What the World Eats, Part II

No comments: