Summary: One of the things that motivated the disciples is that they saw Jesus pray. Each and every one of us must be a person of prayer.
Lord Teach Us to Pray Luke 11:1
Why does a person want to learn to pray? One of the things that motivated the disciples to ask Jesus was that they saw him pray. Often times they would see Jesus pray He prayed on everyday occasions. As he was ministering to the crowds by teaching, preaching and healing, He would often go off by Himself afterward and spend hours talking with His Father. Many of us are too busy to take time out to pray.
Jesus would also pray on special occasions. He prayed when he was baptized. He prayed before he chose the twelve. He prayed before Peter’s confession of faith. He prayed when he was transfigured on the mountain. He prayed when the 72 returned from their mission. He prayed when he fed the 5,000. He prayed when he instituted the Lord’s Supper and when he waited for the one that was going to betray him. He prayed on the cross itself and he prayed when he ate with the 2 disciples on the Emmaus road after the resurrection. The disciples wanted to pray because they say how important it was to Jesus.
So if prayer was so important to Jesus it ought to be important to you and I. Prayer is as old and man himself. Prayer is communicating with God. You ask, he answers. You seek, he shows up. You knock, he opens up the door. The bible says that men should always pray and not faint. We understand and we know that prayer is the key to the kingdom and faith unlocks the door.
This passage before us starts with Jesus as the prayer. Luke makes frequent references to Jesus’ prayers. In the last chapter Luke reveals the content of one of Jesus’ prayers. Here he tells us only that Jesus was praying.
The disciples knew that John had taught his disciples to pray and they wanted Jesus to do the same for them. They may have had in mind a set prayer that they might recite, but Jesus gave them a prayer that Christians have recited for centuries. Jesus goes beyond what the disciples requested and taught them about the one to whom they should pray too
This prayer has five petitions. The first two have to do with God. The last three have to do with the fulfillment of our needs. Each of the three requests is plural (give us? Forgive us? Lead us not?). This emphasize that not only should we pray for ourselves but we should pray for one another. In this prayer, you will find that there is no adoration, there is no confession, there is no thanksgiving, only supplication.
Jesus instructed the disciples that when you pray:
Vs. 2 Our Father.
To address God as Father makes God more approachable. A person’s name is more than a label. The connection between our self and our name gives us a since of identity. Nobody wants their name to be made fun of. Nobody wants their name to be mispronounced. If you call someone the wrong name they will quickly correct you and say that’s not my name.
A wise person goes to great length to maintain a good name. Jesus teaches us to pray that God’s name be kept holy. This is a prayer that God’s name be honored. That his name be glorified that his name be magnified.
The second peition “Your kingdom come.”
This petition is closely tied to the first. God’s kingdom is the place where God’s name is revered and kept holy. When we allow God to be king in our lives, we reverend his name and keep it holy. His name is above every name.
Verse 3 “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Throughout this text, Jesus is teaching his disciples about prayer by teaching them about their proper relationship to God. The petition for daily bread reminds them of the mana which God gave daily to the Children of Israel as they journeyed through the wilderness. God gave them mana daily and it could not be stored except for the Sabbath. If they tried to store it the next day it would turn into worms.
Mana reminded the Israelites of their daily dependence on God. It ought to remind you and I today that we can depend on God. Whatever we need God’s got it. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care itself. But I’m serving a God that will supply all of my needs according to his riches in glory.
In our society, prayer for daily bread seems almost trivial. Our basic needs include so much more. Electricty, automobiles, education, jobs, medical care to name just a few. Some of us know what it means to go without electricity or medical care, but few of us have experienced real hunger. Daily bread in this prayer represents the essentials for life. Whatever we need in order to live God will supply. God is the source of life and everything that sustains life.