Luke 11:1 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.”
“Teach us to pray.”
What an earnest request the disciples made to Jesus. It was a request that acknowledged their lack of understanding. It was a request filled with humility. It was a request that arose from having witnessed Jesus having intimate communion with His heavenly Father.
As they stood there watching Him, they knew there was something special about the way Jesus prayed. There was something magnetic, powerful, and beautiful about it and what it revealed about His relationship with God. It made them yearn to learn to pray just as He did.
I love the disciples’ request to Jesus. It makes me reflect on my life and whether I look to Jesus about how to do things or just do things the way I think they should be done.
When it comes to prayer, it is dangerously easy to approach it with the wrong mindset – with the “this is how I want to do it” mindset, I am so used to living out.
It is easy for us to assume that prayer is about presenting all our requests before God and getting what we want from Him. This mindset treats God like a genie or a prayer-answering vending machine – which He is not.
So, then what is the right mindset for us to approach prayer with?
Firstly, dear friend, it is wise for us to approach prayer just as the disciples did. We must humble ourselves, acknowledge our lack of understanding, and seek the Lord Jesus’ direction in prayer. We must earnestly approach the Lord and say, “Teach me to pray.”
Jesus’ response to His disciples is found in Matthew 6:9-13. He sets forth a prayer that challenges all of our preconceived perceptions about talking to God. We call it the Lord’s Prayer. This, my dear friend, is our approach to prayer.
However, it is important for us to be aware that Jesus didn’t give us this prayer as a script or as a formula. It is not meant to just be recited. If it becomes mere recitation, the words will begin to lose their meaning and feel empty.
Instead, this prayer is a framework for us to follow. There is great and deep meaning behind each thought in this prayer. So, in order to see its significance, we’ve got to look beyond just the script and focus on the meaning.
Over the next week, this is what we will be delving into – the meaning behind the Lord’s prayer. May I encourage you, dear friend, to go slowly as you read about the Lord’s prayer. Allow your own thoughts to rise up within you, and allow your spirit to craft its own prayer to your heavenly Father.
What are you most looking forward to as you dive into learning about the Lord’s prayer this week?
- Having a prayer life just as Jesus did.
- Allowing my preconceived ideas about prayer to be reshaped by Jesus.
- Experiencing greater intimacy with my heavenly Father.
Abba, I love you. I love Your Son, Jesus. I love Your Holy Spirit. I worship You and honour You today. Thank You for Your Word, for Jesus, and for teaching me to pray.
It is my solemn prayer that I would discard all of my own ways of praying to You this week. I long, Lord God, to pray as Jesus prayed and to have that intimacy with You just as He did.
So, I invite You, Lord, to transform my thinking. I humble myself today and ask You, “Teach me to pray.”
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Pray for your nation today. Pray that the people of your nation would long for salvation. Pray that they would turn from themselves and from doing things their own way, and that they would turn their hearts to the Lord.