Jesus Teaching on Prayer

Prayer is a time of refreshment. Howard Taylor says of his father, Hudson Taylor, “For forty years the sun never rose on China a single day that God didn’t find him on his knees.” (Howard Taylor, Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission). … More

Prayer

 

These verses contain what is commonly called the “Lord’s Prayer,” also found in Matthew 6:9-13.  It should really be called the “disciples prayer,” because Jesus could not pray it Himself since it says: “Forgive us our sins,” and Jesus could not sin. Notice that Jesus praised God first, and they He made His requests. Praising God first puts us in the right frame of mind to tell Him about our needs. It is a model prayer to show us how to pray and not something to just be repeated in vain repetition. In it we are to:

  1. Recognize God for who He is and glorify His name (v. 2).
  2. Pray for His program to be accomplished. It is not telling God what we want but asking God to use us to accomplish what He wants (v. 2).
  3. Pray that His will be accomplished. It is not to get man’s will done in heaven, but to get God’s will done on earth (v. 2).
  4. Ask for daily food (v. 3).
  5. Ask for forgiveness of sin (v. 4).
  6. Ask for deliverance from sin and evil (v. 4). Actually that we be delivered from situations that would cause us to sin.
Following the prayer, Jesus gives a parable which illustrates the fact that God will answer the prayer of those who are His children (vv.5-8). God is more than a friend, and will certainly grant our requests much more readily than the man who had gone to bed. A second brief parable shows that the Father will not only respond, but He will give us what is good for us and not what will harm us (vv. 9-12). He goes on to state that this good gift is the Holy Spirit, which is the most important gift we could have (v. 13).

Application

 

What concerns occupy most of my time in prayer?  If I make a list of my concerns, how do these  match up with the points given above?

Luke 11:1-13 (English Standard Version)

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples." And he said to them, "When you pray, say: "Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation." And he said to them, "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; and he will answer from within, 'Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything'? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

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