I was teaching and facilitating the College of Prayer weekend in Mexico City with several other Latino pastors. The focus of the weekend was the heart cry, “Lord, teach us to pray!” This theme reminded me how two years previous, my wife and I had been teaching at Ambrose University as international workers (IWs). We had been invited to stay on another year and we prayed asking the Lord to reveal His will to us. A few nights later I had a dream in which the president of the C&MA in Mexico, Tomas Bencomo, looked me in the eye as he handed me a rolled-up parchment and said, “You must teach prayer the way the Lord taught it and you do not have much time.” When I woke up that morning I told my wife, Kathy, the dream. The Lord had revealed His will—go to Mexico and teach His prayer His way.
We arrived in Mexico City at the end of October 2016, and only a few months later I received an invitation from president Bencomo to attend a prayer event in his church in Juarez, Mexico. There, I experienced the College of Prayer and I recognized similarities to what the Lord had already been revealing to me through a book I was writing, 7 Rooms of The Lord’s Prayer. Jesus is calling us to dust off and practise a prayer pattern that has long been forgotten by the modern Church. Jesus began by teaching His prayer to His disciples and then later He declared: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Mark 11:17). He also clarified that: “In My Father’s house are many rooms” (John 14:2). The amazing revelation is that each room in His Father’s house represents a part of the prayer that He taught His disciples.
The rooms of the Lord’s Prayer teach us that there is a divine order to encountering His presence. We most often quickly run to the fourth room, for our needs, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Once we finish our requests, we quickly leave the room and move on with our day. We then wonder why we do not experience an intimate encounter with His presence.
That weekend in Mexico City, each person experienced a powerful, personal encounter with their Heavenly Father through Jesus’ prayer. The invitation was given to begin with the first room of relationship: “Our Father who is in Heaven.” During the prayer each one embraced another in silence, asking the Lord to embrace and speak to us as we did so. If we are His Body, we can trust that He can communicate to us through one another. The presence of the Lord came with gentle power as wounded and broken hearts were healed. People personally and intimately experienced the Lord’s blessing: “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders” (Deuteronomy 33:12).
Embracing prayer awakened hope for all, especially the ethnic groups who were represented. A couple who had come to the event from a group of expelled Huichol believers—who had been rejected by their community because of their faith, losing land and home in the process—discovered a home and community that could never be taken away from them. Many indigenous people of Mexico have never experienced the embrace and true love of a father. Many have experienced abuse of one type or another. Fathers are often bound by the chains of alcoholism. Mothers are constantly working to support the family. And so, the children raise each other. The cycle of dysfunctional families is passed from one generation to another. The order of the Lord’s Prayer, however, is a divine map that is guiding many to their true home and wholeness in Christ.
We saw this reality in a follow-up event in the mountains of Hidalgo, located North East of Mexico City. There we facilitated another weekend of prayer in a place called Ahuatitla. As the Lord’s prayer was taught and experienced by the Nahuatl believers, family relationships were reconciled and restored. Tears flowed freely, as for the first-time children and youth received the blessing of their Heavenly Father through the genuine loving embrace and prayer of their earthly parents.
The amazing reality is that almost everyone in Mexico knows the Lord’s Prayer by heart but have never been helped to know and experience personally the divine Author of the prayer. The Lord’s Prayer is not only for those already in a believing community. It is the very expression of the Good News in prayer, inviting all to experience the Lord’s love, forgiveness, and deliverance through the prayer He has taught us. You can help your friends and family know Jesus by encountering Him in His prayer, so that with you they can begin the journey to their true home. But it begins with you. It begins with a simple petition. “Lord, teach us to pray.” He is waiting for you, right now, to express to Him those five simple words which will revolutionize your life and your prayers.
We most often quickly run to the fourth room for our needs—“Give us this day our daily bread.”
Blake and his wife, Kathy, worked on a church-planting team in Mexico City from 1997-1999. From 2001 to 2015, they served in a creative access country (CAC) in the Caribbean Sun, training and mentoring pastors of the C&MA house churches and developing a prayer network that united denominations. They are currently serving as team leaders in Mexico City. Learn more at cmacan.org/bkp