I recently preached at another local church, and a member of the congregation there is running a project to encourage prayer. He has recorded a range of leaders talking about prayer, and incorporated this into a website which includes a course on prayer making use of Richard Foster’s book Prayer: finding the heart’s true home.
Find below my video, which lasts seven minutes. For me, prayer is about entering into and dwelling in God’s presence, which on the one hand means rest and refreshment (‘Our hearts are restless until we find our rest in thee’, Augustine), but also means repentance and longing—repentance because we fall so far short of God’s perfection, and longing to see God’s broken world transformed by his kingdom.
The two halves of the Lord’s prayer match these concerns. As we enter our Father’s presence, we long to see his name honoured, his will done and his kingdom come. But we know our own inadequacies, so also need his protection from evil, defence against temptation, and the provision of our daily bread ‘for the coming day’.