Summary: A study of how Christ taught us pray and what it means to our daily prayer life.
Scripture Ref: Luke 11:1-13
Other References: The Believer’s Bible Commentary
Based in part on a message by Bob Deffinbaugh
a. Trinity Baptist Church is taking a bold journey—a journey of faith, a journey of love, and with God’s help, a journey of growth.
b. We can’t, however, take this trip all by ourselves; we need a champion. That champion will willingly come to our aid, but he likes to hear us ask for his help.
c. So, the question I start this message with this morning is, “What is the proper way to ask God for his help? Is there a magic formula?”
d. Over the course of my life, I have attended a number of churches where the “Lord’s Prayer” is often used as a prayer. While I won’t say using it this way is inappropriate, I tend to believe that that wasn’t its intended purpose.
e. In Matthew’s account, the Lord’s Prayer is preceded by these words:
Matthew 6:7-9a: And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. "This, then, is how you should pray:
f. Notice that Christ does not say “This, then is what you should pray…,” but, rather, “This, then, is how you should pray.”
g. I believe the Lord’s prayer is a model for us to follow when we pray.
h. This morning, I am going to focus on how, I believe, the scriptures teach us to pray.
2. The Textual Outline
a. Read Luke 11:1-13
b. Today’s text can be easily outlined.
(1) V1 — The disciple’s request — “Lord, teach us to pray.”
(2) Vv 2-4 —Prayer’s Content
(3) Vv 5-13 — The disciple’s incentive for prayer
3. The Disciple’s Request
a. Re-read Verse 1
b. This is another of the frequent references by Luke to the prayer life Jesus.
c. It fits in with Luke's purpose in presenting Christ as the Son of Man, constantly depending on God His Father.
d. The disciples sensed that prayer was a real and vital force in the life of Jesus, and as they heard Him pray, it made them want to pray too.
e. So one of His disciples asked that He would teach them to pray. He did not say, “Teach us how to pray,” but rather “Teach us to pray.” The request includes both the fact and the method.
(1) Subject of prayer raised by one of the disciples, rather than Jesus. Why? Was it because Jesus wanted the disciples to conclude on their own how important prayer is. Jesus was ready and willing to teach on prayer, but only when His disciples were eager to learn. Motivation cannot be higher for learning when the student asks the teacher to teach.
(2) Jesus knew the power of a good example is greater than that of a long speech. Jesus’ prayer life prompted the disciple to ask Him to teach them to do the same. It is easy to ask someone who has demonstrated expertise to share it with others.
(3) The disciple asked Jesus to teach them to pray because he knew they were ignorant and inexperienced in this area.
(a) I have not seen in the gospels where the disciples were characterized as men of prayer. Even in the garden of Gethsemane Jesus’ prayer life was something which He practiced alone, without the help (at least for very long) of the disciples.
(b) This one disciple’s request was an open admission that not only did they need prayer, but his life and the lives of his fellows were lacking in this area.
4. Prayer’s Content
a. Re-read Verses 2-4
b. Looking at the prayer Jesus gives to His disciples as a pattern prayer, we see right away it is short.
(1) Does not include all of the elements of prayer—focuses on petitions for God to meet certain needs, but does not deal to any great degree with our praise.
(2) The prayer is skeletal, one that can be filled in with greater detail, but one that outlines the essential elements of our prayers.
c. It taught the disciples to address God as Father, an intimate family relationship unknown to believers in the OT. It simply means that believers are now to speak to God as to a loving heavenly Father.
d. A survey of the areas of need the prayer covers.
(1) The Kingdom of God coming.
(a) The coming of God’s kingdom will occur at Jesus’ second coming, when the whole of creation is restored and rid of sin, and when God’s holiness and splendor is revealed in its totality.
(b) The first element of prayer has to do with the God’s authority being fully established on the earth, and for His glory and splendor to be revealed at that time.