Teach Us to Pray

Susan Damon

READ : Romans 8:18-27

During the war, Dutch pastors had to be extremely careful of what they said from the pulpit. For if a pastor was openly critical of the Nazis, he might be subjected to a public tongue-lashing by Nazi sympathizers, or even arrest and imprisonment. A pastor who sometimes preached in Dorothy’s church was sent to a concentration camp.

During one service at Dorothy’s church, a woman who was a Nazi sympathizer challenged Dorothy’s pastor, “You pray for the Dutch royal family. Why don’t you pray for Hitler?” “I do pray for Hitler,” responded the pastor, “but not as you would like me to. I pray that he will turn from his evil!”

Prayer, like every other human activity, has been tainted by sin. How many prayers ascending to God daily the world over are a vile offense to His ears? Jesus, who knew perfectly and followed perfectly the will of His Father, ended His anguished prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane with the words, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” With Jesus’ disciples, may we say, “Lord, teach us to pray,” and may our prayers, like our Lord’s, reflect deep humility and submission to the will of God. What a comfort to know that the Spirit Himself intercedes for us, pleading for us before the throne of God when we do not know how to pray rightly ourselves!


Lord Jesus, teach us to pray. Thank You for Your Spirit, who helps us in our weakness. Amen.