I definitely woke up feeling a bit sluggish. I was desperate for a running partner. Any living human being would do…
I asked Jodi… “I think I’m going to walk with the kids later.”
I asked Taylor… “Um… I don’t think so.”
I asked Abigail… “No way.”
I asked Piper… “Um… I guess so.”
Perfect! I’ll take it.
We hit the pavement and decided to do the “Criswell Out & Back Route” due to the ongoing bridge construction in Apple Creek. We had run that same route together on Saturday morning. That morning we finished in 29 minutes and 8 seconds.
I asked Piper how she was feeling… “Okay.”
Good enough for me. Then I asked, “Do you think you are going to run faster than last time?”
“I don’t know…”
“Do you want to?”
“Yes. I would love to get a P.R.”
I told her, “If you listen to me and run how I tell you to, you’ll get a P.R. today.”
So… I coached her through the run. Her previous P.R. was right around 29 minutes. I knew that she was stronger than that.
She did everything that I told her to do. I told her to stop looking at her watch, and to just run on effort. I told her to keep a positive attitude, to believe in herself. I told her to lock in to a good, strong effort, and to keep the same effort (not speed) up the hills. Then to keep the same effort (not speed) down the hills. When we made the last turn and only had a tenth of a mile left, I told her to empty the tank.
She absolutely rocked it! 26 minutes and 20 seconds. A HUGE new Personal Record.
Funny enough, she felt terrible at the end of her 29 minutes and 8 seconds run, but she was on cloud nine after her 26 minutes and 20 seconds run.
Daily Run: Piper and I ran 3.1 miles in 26 minutes and 20 seconds, which is an average pace of 8:28 per mile.
Daily Bible Reading: In Luke 11, the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray.
I always find that section to be a little strange. Prayer, to me, seems to be as normal and natural as breathing. There really is no particular form to prayer. God hears us whether we follow a specific pattern or not. Whether we use the right words or not, and whether we form intelligent, grammatically correct sentences or not, our Father hears us perfectly. In fact, the Apostle Paul tells us:
… the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.Romans 8:26, ESV
It is as if the Holy Spirit Himself takes our feeble words and interprets them so that the Father can hear the thoughts and feelings that we don’t even have words to accurately and fully present to Him.
That’s pretty cool.
Still, I think the prayer that Jesus offers the disciples can be a helpful template for us to keep in mind as we pray.
Let’s check it out.
Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”Luke 11:1–4, ESV
This prayer could meaningfully be recited as is, or it could be broken down into four helpful prayer components that we can use to offer our own, unique expressions of prayer. Those four components would be: praise, requests, admit, and yield.
Praise – “…hallowed by your name…” – It is good to begin our times of prayer by praising God for who He is and for what He has done.
Requests – “…Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread…” – We are invited to let our requests be made known to God. He cares for us. There is no request too big for God and there is no request too small for God.
Admit – “…forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us…” – Admitting our personal shortcomings is not so much a matter of letting God know how we have failed. It is more about agreeing with God that we have failed. He already knows. He is more than willing to forgive. He also wants us to model that same spirit of forgiveness to those who have sinned against us.
Yield – “…lead us not into temptation…” – While this may sound like another request, it is really more of an admission that you want God to be in control. Lead me. When the LORD is truly invited to be the lord of your life, He will lead you in the right direction… to the place that will bring you the most joy and will bring Him the most glory.
Again, there is no right or wrong way to pray. Honesty and sincerity is the right policy. Still, if you want a bit of a blueprint to build your own personal prayers upon, a pretty great one is right there in Luke 11.