Lord, Teach us to Pray
A. If you could ask Jesus to TEACH you anything about Serving Him, what would it be?
- To heal people
- To TEACH people like Jesus did.
- To confront people with the wisdom as Jesus did
- What about how to do Miracles
- How about raising someone from the dead?
- Leading people to be Totally Committed to the Gospel Cause, as Jesus led these 12 apostles and others.
Well, the Disciples were with Jesus and witnessed every part of His Ministry – the only thing recorded that they asked Jesus to Teach them, was…. TO PRAY!
Luke 11:1 – the Lord’s prayer in Luke records that Jesus’ lesson on prayer begins as the Disciples ask Jesus to Teach them to Pray.
They didn’t ask to be taught how to do miracles; or how to be better teachers; or better leaders, etc. They asked Jesus, TEACH US TO PRAY!
Some how they saw in Jesus that all that He did (miracles, teaching, leading, living, etc.) was connected to all those times recorded in Scripture where Jesus went off to PRAY!
B. Our Passage today is what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer.
- This passage on Prayer, 6:1-18 is also part of chapters 5-7 that are known as the Sermon on the Mount.
The Sermon on the Mount is significant because it is a time when Jesus is teaching those who have made a commitment to follow Him, what it means to follow Him (e.g. How to be blessed or Happy, following Jesus is more than just obeying the letter of the law it is a heart and motive issue, Prayer, What we Treasure, Worrying vs’ Trust in the Lord; How we judge others, Producing Fruit in our lives, and how to build our lives firm and strong on the Rock – Christ).
So part of Following Jesus as Lord is to PRAY.
- We also see just prior to the Model of Prayer that Jesus teaches His Disciples, we learn about How Not To Pray!
Vs. 5-6; Prayer is not to be Performance – the hypocrites pray in the synagogues and streets to be seen by men.
Vs. 7-8; Prayer is not a magical Ritual – again, those who don’t really know the Lord, pray babbling, going on and on – thinking that if they just the right things or say often enough, God will answer. ILL> so many cults have ritualistic chants as prayers. Jesus teaches us this not real prayer.
C. So what is it that Jesus wants to TEACH US about REAL PRAYER?
A. Jesus teaches us that Prayer is something to Learn.
- Just as the Disciples ask Jesus to teach them to Prayer, Jesus by responding teaches us that we can learn to Pray.
- That is perhaps why, for a lot of people, who really love the Lord, prayer is not easy. There are times when our minds wonder. Times when we don’t know what to say in prayer. It sometimes doesn’t seem natural with everything else we have to do in our lives. Good news, when you feel like this, remember, Jesus wants us to know, Prayer is something to Learn.
- The truth that Prayer is something to Learn also reminds us that there is always room to GROW in the area of Prayer
B. Jesus teaches us to Pray as a Community.
- Together, as a Church body.
- Notice in this Model prayer Jesus always uses the 1st Person Plural: Our Father… Give US… Forgive US… as WE also have Forgiven OUR debtors… Lead US…Deliver US
- Now it is interesting that in Vs. 6 Jesus teaches the Disciples to go to their room to pray.
So I think that Jesus wants to teach us that Prayer is not only important in our Personal lives but also as a Community of His People.
C. Jesus teaches us that Our Prayers reflect our Relationship with God - vs. 9b
- We learn Jesus’ desire for those who Pray would have an intimate relationship with God, as their heavenly Father.
- We learn that when we pray we are stating our relationship with God. Is He our Father – or do we just see Him as the “Big guy in the sky”; “The man upstairs” A dear old man,
- Over 70 of Jesus’ prayers begin with “Father.”
- It raises the Question: Are we in Relationship with God, thru faith in Jesus Christ or not?
- Arthur Pink said: “Our Father inspires confidence and love.
Jesus teaches us that our Prayers reflect our Relationship with God.
D. Jesus teaches us that our Prayers should reflect God’s Glory, vs. 9b-10
- God’s glory humbles us. Arthur Pink also said; “Our Father who art (or who is in) heaven (& Hallowed – or Holy is your name) should fill us with humility and awe.
- So part of our prayer acknowledges God’s place, Glory and Awe.
- Yet, part of our Prayer should also SEEK God’s Glory – in fact, that is why we should be Praying to HIM.
- So you see Jesus teaching us this through “Your Kingdom come You will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Quote: Alan Wolfe, Boston College Sociologist says; “the current spiritual searching is really about the empowerment of self: ‘rather than being about a god who commands you, it’s about finding a religion that empowers you.”
So God’s glory humbles us in our prayers and yet, also should CENTER our Prayers!
E. Jesus teaches us that our Prayers are to Focus our whole life on Living for the Lord, vs. 11-12
1. Give us this Day our Daily Bread = God is Our Provider, He will supply our Needs. Phil. 4:19, “My God will meet all your needs according to His riches in Glory.”
Our lives are dependent upon God.
God wants to be part of our physical needs.
2. Forgive us our sins = God wants to be Lord of our emotional needs. Not only are we to come to the Lord for our Forgiveness but we are to come to Him to help us Forgive others.
Forgiveness is a key part of life. The fact is, even as we will sin against God and others – Others will sin against us. But if we allow hurt to go unforgiven, it will turn into bitterness and bitterness will turn into anger and anger will turn into rage and rage and will always seek revenge. When our life becomes focused on our hurts, our anger, our bitterness, even on Revenge – physically, emotionally, and spiritually we are negatively affected. Not only are we affected but then we also affect and poison other relationships we have in life.
So Jesus teaches us to Pray for Forgiveness and to Forgiven others as we seek to live our Life for Him.
3. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one = God doesn’t want us to be ensnared by Sin in our lives. He wants us to be Free.
So part of our Prayer in living for Him is to seek His power and strength over temptation and deliverance from schemes of the evil One.
We are in a spiritual battle. Jesus teaches us that if we truly want to live with Jesus as Lord of our lives, we need to Pray for Spiritual protection, guidance, strength, and deliverance
ILL> Now don’t ask God to lead you not into temptation or deliver you from a sin if you are going to play games – e.g. If you struggle with drinking too much. Don’t go to the bar with your friends and then pray Lord, help me. Get out of there. If you struggle with drugs and you know that a certain party is going to have lots of drugs – don’t go. If you struggle with gossip, don’t get into conversations with certain people you know will want to gossip with you . . .
Jesus wants us to learn that Prayer is there to help us understand that we are in a spiritual battle and the Lord is our Strength!
A. Most people believe in Prayer – one study said that 64% of Americans say that they pray every day.
We know that it was an important part of Jesus’ life and ministry. We know the Disciples saw the effect of Prayer in Jesus’ life and so they asked Him to Teach them to Pray!
So we have the Lord’s Prayer!
B. An unknown author summarized this prayer like this:
I cannot say “our” if I live only for myself.
I cannot say “Father” if I do not endeavor each to be His child.
I cannot say “hallowed be your name” if I am playing around with sin.
I cannot say “your kingdom come” if I am not allowing God to reign in my life.
I cannot say “your will be done” if I want my way all the time.
I cannot say “give us this day our daily bread” if I am trusting in myself instead of God’s provision.
I cannot say, “Forgive us our debts” if I am nursing a grudge or withholding forgiveness from someone else.
I cannot say “lead us not into temptation” if I deliberately place myself in its path.
C. Jesus teaches us about Prayer:
1. Prayer is something we can learn and grow in.
2. Prayer is not just personal it is within community.
3. Prayer reflects our Relationship with God. How’s Yours?
4. Prayer reflects God’s Glory. What’s at the center of Your Prayers?
5. Prayer focuses our Life in Him. How can God help you to live more for Him?
D. How is the Lord teaching you to Pray today?