Lord, Teach Us to Pray
This past Sunday Pastor John spoke on Luke 11:1-2,
"One day, Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of His disciples said to him, Lord teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples." "He said to them, when you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come."
When the disciples ask Jesus how to pray, He illustrates a model or format for prayer for them. This took place near the end of Jesus' time of ministry with the disciples. The prayer He gave them is very similar to what Jesus spoke to the crowd during the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 6 - which took place toward the beginning of Jesus' time of ministry with the disciples). Four things we can note in this passage on how Jesus describes prayer to his disciples:
1. " When you pray, SAY":
Many people in our culture today think of prayer as being a silent thought process. Yet on very very few occasions in the Word can you find mention of people praying silently to the Lord. Instead the Word brims with mention of people crying out to God, calling to the Lord, speaking their prayers and praise aloud to God, just a few examples are
Ps 5:1-3 "Give ear to my words oh Lord, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning O Lord you hear my voice. "
Ps 18:6 "in my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice, my cry came before Him, into his ears."
Jesus himself also prayed aloud as mentioned in Hebrews 5:7. "During the days of Jesus' live on earth, He offered up prayers and petetitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. "
If anyone could have just thought a prayer effectively, rather than speaking it aloud, wouldn't it have been Jesus? Yet he saw the value in speaking out our prayers to God.
That is not to say that we cannot pray silently, or that God cannot hear us if we pray silently. But speaking out our prayers to God lifts and engages our hearts in talking with the Lord.
2. "Say Father"
The term Father is used more than 70 times in the New Testament, referring to God in a very personal sense.
John 1:12 "Yet to all who received Him and belived in His Name, He gave the right to become the children of God "
Jn 3:1 How great is the love that the Father has lavished on us that we should be called the children of God-
Rom 8:14-16 - "because those who are led by the Spririt of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave to fear, but you received the Spririt of Sonship and by Him we cry Abba, Father. The Spririt himself testifies with our spriit that we are Gods children."
He has adopted us through what Jesus has done for us.
Ps 103:13 "As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him"
Luke 11:13 " if you then who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
As our Father, He knows where you are, He sees what you need, and He is interested when you come to talk with Him. Jesus is saying, when you come to God, come knowing that you have a relationship with Him as His loved child.
3. " Father Hallowed be Your Name"
Remember that He is Holy....sinless...... He is different..... There is no one like Him.... He is more than our greatest imagination of Him could be.... He is Holy. He has given His names in scripture to tell us more of Who He Is and what He does. He is the God who Created all things, He is our Provider, Our Banner who watches over us in love, He is the God who keeps His promises, He is the God who can do the impossible, for whom nothing is too difficult, He is our Healer. Jesus is saying, when you come to the Lord in prayer, focus for a while on Who He Is and speak praises to Him. As you begin to pray, spend time praising Him, this will build your faith and give you confidence to boldly approach His throne. Exalt His Name and praise Him... and let His peace and presence fill your heart.
4. "Your Kingdom Come"
Sometimes when people read this phrase, they immediately think of His eternal kindgom. But In this portion, Jesus was referring to His kingdom right now on this earth, in our lives. In our praying, we are saying God, I'm asking You to reign over the situations and circumstances of my life. I submit my will in these situations to You and I want Your will to be done. Realizing that His understanding is so much more comprehensive that our own, saying to Him, I trust You to take care of this in the best possible way because you are all knowing. When you take your concerns to God in this manner, and spend time with Him, you will leave with the peace that passes all understanding
“It is impossible for a believer, no matter what his experience, to keep right with God if he will not take the trouble to spend time with God…….Spend plenty of time with God; let other things go, but don’t neglect Him” -- Oswald Chambers