Summary: Follow the instructions of Jesus by praying "The Lord's Prayer" with shameless audacity!
Instructions. We have all, at some point in time, wrestled with following the instructions. It may be for a home improvement project, piecing together a pressboard bookshelf, or reading down the side of a box learning how to prepare that particular side-dish for supper.
Instructions are an important feature for figuring things out and for doing things correctly. Instructions will tell us how to do something and how to accomplish an assignment. We need instructions to do things properly.
The Lord’s Prayer is, in some way, instructions on how to approach and communicate with our Heavenly Father. By following the “instructions” Jesus gave us, we will find that Prayer will become a rewarding and an intimate time with our Heavenly Father.
I believe this was becoming apparent to the disciples that Jesus had a distinct pattern to how he prayed. They were all picking up on how Jesus talked with His Father and how his conversation seemed so personal and loving.
The curiosity was more than they could take as they just had to ask Jesus how to pray like he prayed. It seemed as if the disciples wanted to experience the same intimate friendship with God the Father as Jesus displayed to them.
Luke’s gospel presents us with a different perspective of the Lord’s Prayer. The context shows that the disciples were looking for Jesus to give them a specific prayer to pray. They inquired, "Lord, teach us to pray." they are essentially asking, "Lord, give us a prayer — your prayer that marks us as your disciples."
Jesus did not hesitate to teach them how. By doing so, Jesus did not Give them “magical words” as if all they had to say was “abracadabra” and God would make whatever they asked for “magically appear” before their very eyes.
It was, however, giving them language and a pattern that would both mark and form them in their relationship with God and their master. So that is what Jesus gives them — a specific prayer for them to use. It is short, densely packed and memorable. "When you pray," Jesus said, "say this." He then leads them through the prayer itself.
Jesus does not express an individualized checklist of specific wants and needs. The prayer is centered on expressing a worshipful, intentional, and holy approach towards a loving relationship with God.
If we will “follow the instructions” Jesus gives us It will help us to develop a reverence and holiness when we approach God and seek his indwelling presence. Once we adapt the instructions of prayer to our lives we will find that our time becomes more of Him and a lot less about us.
I am particularly drawn to verse two that Jesus draws us to worship and recognize God our Father. He says, “When you pray, say: "'Father, hallowed be your name….” We begin our time of prayer in respect, worship and praise.
The address of God as Father is important as it focuses on the relationship God has with his children. The term “father” relates to the Aramaic word “abba” that combines a respect for the father's authority with a sense of intimacy. Jesus' introduction of such intimacy in prayer was to help the Disciples understand their closeness to God. Jesus ensured they knew that they were part of God’s family and had access to him as their heavenly father.
Jesus makes a profound statement in teaching us to begin our prayers in such love and in such a relationship. Notice, he did not say to start with “Dear God” or with some other attribute. He said, “say, ‘our father.”
Yes, God is perfect, righteous, almighty, holy and worthy of our adoration. Jesus chose the most intimate of names: Father. Jesus emphasized that God, as Father, is close, personal and intimate with us. He is not a God “way up there” in Heaven far away, untouchable, and enthroned well beyond your reach.
God, as Father, is ever so close to us and fully able to hear our voice and to listen when we call. He is more than capable of meeting our needs and giving us all that we need to live a life holy and pleasing to Him.
He sees us at our best and is with us when we are at our worst and still desires to be near us, close to us, all because His love for us is unconditional and unfailing.
What The Disciples received from Jesus was assurance of their invitation to approach their heavenly Father with confidence, knowing He will always listen, always forgive, always provide, always protect, and always be available to them for such a relationship.
Jesus drives the point home by telling a parable to emphasize boldness in approaching God as our Father. The key word in verse eight, is “boldness” which is a verb implying two things: boldness and shamelessness audacity.