Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lord, teach us to pray

Luke 11:1-4: “Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ 2 So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.’"

After Jesus prayed the disciples said to Him, “Lord teach us to pray.” What they were wanting was Jesus to teach them and instruct them in the art and craft of prayer; to teach them the same thing that He was just doing moments ago, communicating with the Father. There was something in their hearts that desired to have that same type of communication with the Heavenly Father that Jesus did. For Jesus, prayer was a natural thing, for it is recorded all throughout the gospel of Luke concerning the priority of prayer in the Life of Jesus. Jesus would frequently break away from the busyness of His ministry to be alone with the Father. Jesus’ prayer life was so attractive to His disciples, that they wanted it and inquired about it.

Prayer for a Jewish person started at the home and in the synagogue. However, the way Jesus prayed was special and different. He had a conversation with the father, and that was what appealed to them. Being taught to pray was not unheard of; in fact, John the Baptist taught his disciples how to pray. Jesus gave them an example of how one can start a conversation with God. He knew it was essential for His disciples to realize that God was not just this all powerful being out in the universe that was not concerned about the affairs of fishermen. No, God is as close to us as a Father, a loving and gentle Father who cares for us. Jesus was giving His disciples a foundation upon which to build a relationship. Prayer is not just a vocal exercise where we bloviate about our needs, it is a conversation with our Heavenly Father.

For Christ followers, prayer is an essential component in our ability to be successful as we walk this wonderful journey of faith. Prayer is simply having a conversation with our Father. Acknowledging Him as our Father, asking for His will to be done in our lives, asking God to provide for us as we surrender to Him, asking God to forgives us of our sins as we forgive others, and asking for God’s divine protection is all a part of praying. However, true prayer and prayer that will make a difference in our lives begins with a simple and honest conversation with the Father.

Tomorrows Readings:
Old Testament: Ruth 1-4 New Testament Luke 11:29-54

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