And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. ~Luke 11:1
Have you ever thought about what it must have been like to hear Jesus pray? I imagine that the disciples knew that they were in the presence of the Lord. I think that they must have felt so inadequate and helpless as they heard Jesus pray. Thus, after a certain season, when Jesus ceased praying, they asked Him to teach them to pray. They humbled themselves and asked Him to teach them how to pray effectively. How did Jesus teach them to pray?
He taught them by example.
The best teaching is always by example. We learn by watching and replicating what we have seen. Jesus always started and ended what He did with prayer. In Luke 10, we see Jesus in a very busy season of instruction and ministry. Luke 11:1 starts off by saying, “And it came to pass….” We need to pray in preparation for doing ministry, and we need prayer after we have done our ministry. Prayer is needed to fuel and fortify us. Jesus prayed at all times of the day. Jesus prayed in the morning and in the evening. He prayed privately and publicly. He prayed when He was strong and He prayed when He felt weak. The disciples saw Jesus lead by example when it came to prayer.
He taught them by explanation.
Jesus taught them the essentials in prayer. There is the paternity in prayer: we are praying to our Heavenly Father. There is the praise in prayer: we are to honor and praise the name of our Lord. There is the priority in prayer: we are to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. We are to pray for our provisions: “give us this day our daily bread.” We are to ask for pardon for our sins. We are to be pitiful and forgiving of others who have hurt us when we pray. We are to pray for our protection: we must ask God to deliver us from all evil. Some people use the acronym ACTS when they pray: “adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication.” We are not to repeat the prayer Jesus used, but use it as our pattern to beseech the throne of grace repeatedly for the same working of God in our life.
He taught them by extreme.
Prayer is asking God to do what only He can do. It is the truest way that we exercise faith in God. In Luke 11:5-13, Jesus teaches us how to get God to open doors that are shut and how to move His hand, even in the most difficult circumstances. The extreme being emphasized is what is known as importunity. Importunity in the Greek means shamelessness and impudence. It means praying with such earnestness and persistence that you are not ashamed that you keep making this request. Much praying goes unanswered because we do not pray enough. James said, “Ye have not, because ye ask not.” We stop when we should keep praying. We are to pray when others are sleeping. We are to ask for God to do exceeding abundantly, even beyond what we have asked for or can even think of. We are to ask in faith and beyond what others would dare to ask God for. We must persist in prayer until the answer comes.
God did not give us the means of prayer to waste our time or our opportunities. We are given prayer to unlock the resources of Heaven here on earth. Starting today, pray big, pray for the impossible, and pray that closed doors are opened for you.
Have a praying God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Romans 4-7