TEACH US TO PRAY
A LIFE LESSON ON PRAYER
SUNDAY JULY 25, 2021
Scripture To Consider:
“Now it came to pass, as Jesus 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.’”
“So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, hallowed [holy] be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. 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.’” Luke 11.1-4
Something To Consider:
Luke wrote, “Now it came to pass, as Jesus was praying.” Jesus spent much time in prayer. When Jesus was not preaching, teaching, healing the sick, or traveling from one town to another, He could usually be found praying. The disciples knew this was His custom and so they decided one day to wait until He had finished praying to request a favor. “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
It was customary for Rabbis to teach their disciples a short prayer in order to recite from memory. But these disciples have seen God mightily at work in miraculous ways in the life of Jesus. It could be that they have finally associated the power from God, with prayer to God. This is a lesson well worth our learning.
Psalm 145 is attributed to David. In verse 18, David declared; “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” And as mentioned in other lessons, Jesus made clear in one of His prayers to His Father in heaven, “Thy Word is truth.”
Something Else To Consider:
James, the brother of Jesus, wrote in James 5.16, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man [person] avails [accomplishes] much.” If we accomplish nothing else with our lives, we should become righteous people of prayer. And that is accomplished only through the righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. His righteousness is applied to us by our believing in Him, not by any acts, deeds, or creed repeated often enough.
But as we become people of prayer, we will find God accomplishing much in and through our prayers. What could be more exciting? And yet, our prayers are not as many think, a means of changing the mind and will of God. Rather, our time spent in prayer is a means of our finding and understanding the will of our heavenly Father for us as individuals.
And, as Jesus instructed His disciples, He also instructs us to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Prayer is not about creating our own kingdom or pursuing our own agenda. And that is something to both think and to pray about. Being a Christian is not about fulfilling our own desires, but rather our being about our Father’s business.
Paul also instructed us in Philippians 4.6-7 by stating; “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Something More To Consider:
The prayers of God’s people are precious enough to God, that according to Revelation 5.8, the prayers of the saints are safely stored in golden bowls in heaven. How precious should our time be that is spent in prayer with God? The amount of time we spend in prayer gives each of us our answer to that question.
If we were honest with ourselves, we would be forced to admit that there are many of us who could benefit by our making the same request of Jesus that His disciples made. “Lord, teach us to pray!” Let us ask Him for our own life lesson in prayer. It will most likely change our entire perspective on prayer and ministry.
The writer of Hebrews 4.14-16, gave us a most enlightening picture of our compassionate high priest Jesus, as well as revealing another life lesson on prayer, by proclaiming; “Seeing then that we have a great high priest who passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession for we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
And Paul closed his message with these words; “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace [in prayer] that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” How often can we honestly admit that we take advantage of coming to the throne of God’s great grace in prayer? It is one of our greatest assets in our holding fast our confession of faith in Jesus Christ!
A Few Final Words:
Hebrews 11.6 affirms, “But without faith [true faith in Jesus Christ and in obeying His commandments] it is impossible to please Him, for he [or she] who comes to God must believe that He is [that He exists and reigns supreme as declared in the Word of God], and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Therefore, are we diligently seeking God in prayer?
Prayer is a powerful tool in building a godly and righteous character. Therefore, prayer requires a lifetime commitment to the lessons learned in the classroom of the Holy Spirit. “Now it came to pass, as Jesus was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’”
Jesus explained in Matthew 7.7; “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened.” And in James 4.3 we read, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss [for the wrong reason], that you may spend it on your pleasures.” And in verse 10 of that same chapter, James instructed us by declaring, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
Prayer is a humbling experience. Prayer, is our admitting the sovereignty of God and our helplessness without Him and His daily provision. Prayer is our realizing our position as subservient to God, and His supreme dominance in and over our lives. And that should bring comfort that we are dependent upon Him and not the other way around. Therefore, let us be found often drawing near to God, in order for Him to draw near to us in our times of need!
Our Father in heaven, may You accomplish Your will in and through us, according to Your purpose and plan while teaching us to pray often for Your guidance and provision. In Him Always, Amen!