Summary: Example of how the Pray
A few years ago I was in a conversation with some folks and we started talking about Sunday morning worship and each of us began sharing what was his or her favorite part.
One person said it was the Apostles’ Creed, because it was at that moment that he was able to stand up and declare his faith.
Another person said it was the prayer, because there were so many things on her heart that she wanted to pray for.
Another person said it was the prelude.
I looked at this person and was surprised. “You mean it is not the sermon?”
”Oh no, preacher. It’s definitely the prelude.”
When I asked what made the prelude so meaningful, he said it was because his whole week was so full, and so busy, and so intense. But when he came into the Sanctuary and the prelude began, it was the only time all week when he could just sit back, be quiet, and be with God.
Most of us are simply too busy to stop and do nothing for even a few moments each week.
Most of us feel like we need to be active every minute of the day.
We confuse busy-ness with being productive, successful, efficient, effective and meaningful.
Quiet time – doing nothing but talking to God.
Most of us are too busy to do anything like that!
Most of us feel like we need to be busy doing something. And for some reason, prayer just doesn’t feel “busy” or “active” enough.
We are a people and a society in which being busy makes us feel like we are worthwhile.
If we are not doing something, there is something within us that makes us feel like we are lazy, or that we are wasting our time.
Lu 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
Lu 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Lu 11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
Lu 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
The disciples desired to learn to pray. Jesus gives them this example to pray.
Alan Redpath sums up how many feel even when they have prayed, “When we have finished our praying we can scarcely bring ourselves to believe that our feeble words can have been heard, or that they can have made a difference in the things concerning which we have been praying. We’ve said our prayers but we have not prayed.”
Barnes - Teach us to Pray. Probably they had been struck with the excellency and fervour of his prayers, and, recollecting that John had taught his disciples to pray, they asked him also to teach them. We learn, therefore--
1st. That the gifts and graces of others should lead us to desire the same.
2nd. That the true method of praying can be learned only by our being properly taught. Indeed, we cannot pray acceptably at all unless God shall teach us how to pray.
3rd. That it is proper for us to meditate beforehand what we are to ask of God, and to arrange our thoughts, that we may not come thoughtlessly into his presence.
John Hamby –
Almost all of our prayers begin by rushing into a series of request in which we pour out to God our problems, our needs, our irritations. This only tends to reinforces the focus of our attention on what is troubling us and our inability to remedy it. It could be that is at least part of the problem of why we are more depressed and frustrated after we pray than before.
(v. 1), “Lord, teach us to pray?” The disciples seem to have waited a long time to ask Jesus to teach them to pray. They have been with Him for months, perhaps even years by this point. They have watched Him praying in every circumstance of life. They had seen Him taking time to be alone to pray. They understand that Jesus lived a life guided and empowered by prayer. Perhaps as they have watched Him pray it has caused them to realize how very little they truly knew about prayer. Whatever the cause, the Disciples turn to Jesus and ask, “Lord teach us to pray.”
JWN - We are directed, not only to imitate this in all our prayers, but to use this very form of prayer.