“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.’”
Luke 11:1 (NIV)
One of the most saintly men I ever met was well taught in the art of prayer. I loved to be in his presence just to hear him pray. Somehow when he addressed his Father in heaven, he seemed to speak like a patriarch of old. There was a reverence combined with a holy familiarity that made me think we had just come into heaven itself. It was abundantly evident he was on familiar ground when he spoke to his God.
The disciples had a similar but certainly much greater sense of the presence of God when they listened to Jesus pray. The whole experience was so moving and powerful that one of the disciples blurted out the request that Jesus teach them to pray.
Often when we seek to pray we are at a loss for holy ideas, adequate words and genuine faith. All of us struggle to effectively present ourselves to the Lord, especially in times of stress and conflict.
In Matthew 6:7-11 and here in Luke 11:1-4 we have a fine outline of effective prayer. Often when we pray we are in a panic about something or other and perhaps in a hurry to get our request put before the Lord so we can move on with things.
As we take a good look at this model prayer and at the prayer of Jesus in John 17 we might be surprised to learn that our priorities in prayer may not match up with those of Jesus for us.
I hope to take you through several details of this prayer so that together we may be reminded, or learn for the first time, how to pray effectively.
May I invite you to read Matthew 6:5-13; 7:7-11; Luke 11:1-4; and John 17 as together we consider lessons from Jesus on how to pray? Only as the Holy Spirit guides our thoughts will this will prove to be an effective study. I trust that you will be as blessed from our meditations as I have been in the preparation of these notes.