Summary: How are we to pray?
We are learning to pray from our Lord Jesus Christ; especially the prayer “Lead us not into temptation”. Jesus tells us that there is a wrong way of praying. Many of us get frustrated about our prayers not being answered when the problem is we are praying the wrong way.
Last week we noted that there are 3 things we need to do first in order to pray properly:
1. Grasp the fact that the strength of our relationship with God is dependent on how much we pray! More prayer, more of God’s presence and power. No prayers, you are a target for the Devil!
2. Always be God focused, not self or other people focused.
3. Be eager in praying the right way and always ask Jesus for help!
And so, let us pray again; be God focused and ask for help. Let us pray together…..
Open your Bibles to Matthew 6; read along with me v7-15….
Now let’s look at the same lesson on prayer in Luke 11; read along with me v1-4….
Last week we noted a few things different between the 2 prayer lessons:
- likely different places and time
- in Matt. 6 Jesus taught a crowd; in Luke 11, Jesus responded to a request
- in Matt. 6 Jesus rebuked people praying the wrong way
- the words are different
But the prayers are similar:
Address to - Our Father in heaven; Father…
Acknowledgements - hallowed be your name, your kingdom come
Requests - daily bread, forgiveness
Commitment – as we also forgive…
Plea? – lead us not into temptation – we will talk more about this next week.
Similar prayer but again we note some additions and different wordings.
We can blame the translators of the different English Bibles we have but we cannot blame Jesus for using the term “debts” and “sins” in a similar prayer! Jesus used the word “debts” (Opheiléma) in Matt. 6 and “sins” (hamartias) in Luke 11! Jesus did it for a reason! Anyone have an idea why Jesus would do that??
Yes, I think there are 2 major reasons why Jesus used 2 different words in a similar prayer we are to pray; 1. Jesus wants us to study and learn the right way to pray. I encourage you this week to study and think about the difference between debt and sin.
And the 2nd reason why Jesus taught the prayer the way He did was Jesus doesn’t want us just to babble words without thought, but to pause and think as we pray. When we babble and say a prayer by rote, we might as well just say UMMMMMM… UMMMMM…. To the One and Only True God, babbling and rote prayers are just noise.
And so, how are we to pray?
1. We need to look at both lessons from Jesus and combine them.
2. If the additional words are Biblical, then pray them! But I think, since prayer is a conversation between you and God, the simpler the better; there is no need to try and impress God; God already knows what we’re thinking even before we say them.