Luke 11:1-28; Genesis 19; Psalm 12
“Now it came to pass, as He 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.’” (Luke 11:1 NKJV)
Everyone seems to be searching for the magical words: the words that are just right so that God will answer their prayers. Jesus’s disciples were like that and when they saw Jesus praying, perhaps thinking about His words earlier about somethings only happening through prayer and fasting, they asked Jesus to give them the key to prayer so that their prayers would be answered like His. If John taught his disciples, surely Jesus could teach them. Or so they thought. If you think about it, why did Jesus’s disciples have to ask this question so far along in their work together? I think Jesus was working on the belief that if they simply talked with God like they talked with others, they’d realize that they were praying. Sometimes we make a big deal out of the “model prayer” that Jesus taught, but as I read through it, there’s not much out of the ordinary: they were told to honor God, seek daily provision, seek forgiveness, and look for protection from the evil one. Prayer isn’t a matter of finding just the right words – God knows what you need before you even ask. Prayer is a matter of having the right heart and the right attitude towards God and His plan. Prayer is talking with God like He’s a friend. We don’t need to twist God’s arm to answer our prayers, we just need to walk along with Him.
How’s your prayer life? Do you spend time talking with God or at Him? Do you listen when you pray or are you finished when you have your say? We should live each day in an attitude of prayer. That doesn’t mean getting down on our knees and closing our eyes twenty-four hours a day while mumbling just the right words, sometimes it means finding ways to listen to Him and talk with Him in the midst of our daily activities. God cares about them, too.
Lord, teach me to pray. Teach me as I pray. Help me to talk with You as a friend, knowing that You have the ultimate good for the world in mind. Remind me of Your care and protection as I go through the day.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.