Prayer , the habit of how

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 NLT).

Lord, teach us to pray.

In forming our habit of prayer, this is a great place to start. The disciples saw Jesus praying privately, they heard him praying publicly, and they asked him to teach them to do the same. This would have been common in the teacher and disciple context of that time. Prayer was an opportunity for teachers to express their theology, what they believed about God and his Kingdom. So, Jesus’ response in what we call the Lord’s Prayer, is not just a model of posture or order, but it is Jesus teaching his disciples what he knows to be true about who God is and how God’s Kingdom works. So how does Jesus teach his disciples to pray?

With adoration…because God is worthy of all honor and praise.

Father, hallowed be your name,

With expectancy…because the Kingdom of God is near, as near as your next breath. Let it be. 

your kingdom come.

With dependency…because we are not in control. Everything we are and have is a gift from God. 

Give us each day our daily bread.

With humility…because we are all in need of being saved. 

Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.

With faith…because God is good and wants to lead us into blessing, not harm. 

And lead us not into temptation.

The “how” of prayer is more about getting to know “Who” we are praying to. 

Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, but he also wanted them to know Who they were praying to. The “how” of prayer isn’t about saying the right words in the right order. Prayer is a relationship. And Jesus’ whole earthly ministry revolved around telling people the good news about who his Father is and that his Kingdom is near! 

  • If you were talking to another person, how would you describe God to them? 
  • How does your understanding of who God is hold up in comparison to how Jesus describes his Father?

Read the Lord’s Prayer and the following parables in Luke 11:1-13. And rejoice in the knowledge that the one who seeks God, finds God.

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