Summary: The Lord’s Prayer is the richest single source in the entire Bible of information on how to pray. The Lord’s Prayer is but 38 words in its original form in Luke’s gospel. These 38 words change the very way we understand God, ourselves, and the world.
This is the second week for us to look at the Lord’s Prayer. And it’s the richest single source in the entire Bible of information on how to pray. Not the only place where prayer is taught but it the richest place to go for teaching on prayer. The Lord’s Prayer is but 38 words in its original form in Luke’s gospel but Matthew has a longer version that is 57 words in the original. Again, 38 words that change the very way we understand God, ourselves, and the world.
Anyone who is serious about Jesus will want to grow in prayer. And I want to help all of us develop a powerful prayer life. It’s during these summer weeks, I want to encourage you by showing you that God hears prayer. The most influential religious leader in the history of the world was once asked, “How do you connect with God?” And He gave us the Lord’s Prayer. “This is how you connect to God.” Think of it: what prayer can have greater power with God the Father that a prayer the comes directly from the lips of Jesus.
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.” 2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread,
4 and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:1-4)
Intro to Lord’s Prayer
For some, prayer has become more duty than delight. It feels more like pulling weeds in your flower beds and less like the expectation you feel knowing your favorite TV show is coming on soon. Still others, prayer often comes when we find ourselves in a mess and we want God to get us out of it. Usually about the time that we’ve shared with God what we want, we’ll later remember those who are hungry and perhaps even the homeless. One of the things I love about this prayer is that it doesn’t pretend there aren’t real problems around us. It confronts the real needs in the world – pain and hunger. The Lord’s Prayer is designed to change our priorities and to reverse our thinking. You’ll find the words of the Lord’s Prayer have a peace and joy to them. The prayer is short and simple so it can be quickly learned. It’s so simple that you can pray these word when you’re inexperienced and when you’re tired. You can pray these words when you are ignorant and in times of trouble. I hope you fall in love with these words for they are like an old friend from childhood that grows with us through the years.
Jesus Made Prayer a Habit
Hallowed Be Your Name
Heaven Comes to Earth
1. Jesus Made Prayer a Habit
I made a discovery this week in Jesus’ life. The only recorded request where the disciples ask Jesus to teach them anything is when they ask Jesus to teach them to pray. 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” (Luke 11:1). Think of it: Nowhere else is it recorded where the disciples ask Jesus to teach them anything but this one time. There’s no record of anyone asking Jesus to teach them to heal others or preach. There’s no record of the Disciples asking Jesus to them how to cast out demons or even counsel others. Again, the disciples only ask Jesus to teach them to pray. Why? Because Jesus made prayer a habit.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Jesus praying as we’ve journeyed through Luke together. Luke loves to show Jesus praying as he records Jesus praying nearly a dozen times. Luke shows us Jesus praying in places and times when no other gospel writer does. We see Jesus in prayer from His hometown of Galilee up to the very end at Jerusalem. The Bible shows Jesus praying 25 times while He was on the earth.
What Do We Learn from Jesus’ Prayer Life?
1.1 No Physical Posture Guarantees Results
Jesus knelt in prayer (Luke 22:41) and fell on His face to pray (Matthew 26:39). Jesus even prayed while lifting up His eyes and fixing His stare on heaven (John 11;:41; 17:1) So there’s no physical posture that guarantees results.
1.2 No Recitation of Certain Words Guaranteed Results
Jesus praised God the Father during prayer (Matthew 11:25) and gave thanks for what He had before feeding the multitudes with the fish and the loaves (Matthew 15:36). Jesus asked God for strength and guidance (Matthew 26:36-46). And He prayed for His closest friends, the Disciples, and their ministry (Luke 22:31-32;John 17). Jesus prayed in private (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16) and in moments of crisis (Matthew 27:46). Jesus prayed before big decisions (Luke 6:12-13). And Jesus made it a habit to pray both before and after miracles (Matthew 14:22-23; Luke 9:18) And even prayed while hanging on the cross (Luke 23:34, 46). Again, Jesus made it a habit to pray.