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Summary: The Prayer that Realigns our Lives Series: Encountering Jesus (through the Gospel of Luke) Brad Bailey - July 14, 2019

The Prayer that Realigns our Lives

Series: Encountering Jesus (through the Gospel of Luke)

Brad Bailey - July 14, 2019

#30 in series

Luke 11:1-4

Intro

Today we continue in our series on Encountering Jesus in the Gospel of Luke.

We’ve seen that central to who Jesus is and what he is doing… is bringing God’s kingdom….God’s reign and rule. And he is offering the potential to become restored to life with God…and in him…we see such life connected.

Jesus reveals that the world around you will one day be transformed …but the world within you can begin to live in relationship to eternal life with God as it is in heaven.

We may naturally ask: How do we connect in this reoriented way?

Let’s pick up in the Gospel of Luke…

Luke 11:1-4 (NIV) ?1  One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples." 2  He said to them, "When you pray, say: "'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3  Give us each day our daily bread. 4  Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.'"

A moment comes when the request is made: "Lord, teach us to pray…”

You know what else they specifically asked Jesus to teach them?

Nothing. Jesus taught about many aspects of life…and many asked him questions. But there is nothing else at least recorded…that his disciples want to learn to do from Jesus. [1]

Perhaps this isn’t so surprising…for they had seen withered hands restored instantly: they had seen lepers cleansed and the lame walk. They had seen Jesus raise the dead and all of that flowed out from prayer.

But praying for others what not what seems to be at the forefront here.

Jesus had already been teaching them and sending them to pray for healing and deliverance. What we read here is that Jesus was in the process of personal prayer…when they came and asked him to teach them to pray. [2]

What they wanted to learn…was how THEY could have the life of personal prayer that connected with heaven like he did. His whole life operated out of what was formed by such personal prayer.

And it is this Jesus responds to.

“WHEN you pray…”… not IF but WHEN.

Prayer is not some optional part of life with God…it is life with God. It is not any more optional than breathing is to life.

Connection is what we deeply long for…and there is no connection more profound and powerful than connection with God. That is the power of prayer. Prayer is our opportunity to connect to God, the Creator of the universe.

Prayer is where our spiritual nature connects with the Spirit of God…the very Spirit which created the world…the very Spirit breathed life into our material nature.

The words that follow may sound familiar to most. They have become known as the Lord’s Prayer… and become as familiar as perhaps any words spoken by Jesus.

Some may have noticed they sound a little different than what we may have heard or recited over the years… briefer than what we are generally familiar with. That is because we usually recite the longer version found in Matthew’s Gospel. (Matthew 6:7-15) This version that Luke records…likely in a different occasion…is briefer…but nearly the same at it’s core. [2b]

And that itself suggest that Jesus words were never understood to be merely something to recite…but rather they were meant to be something that shapes the very nature of all prayer. [3]

These words are certainly rich to be recited and prayed together… but it is helpful to realize that they were given more as a model…or pattern.

The disciples wanted Jesus to teach them to pray… not teach them a prayer.

Jesus was teaching them HOW to pray by offering that which is fitting for us to live in connection with God.

In the words that follow we discover something very different than what we commonly think about prayer.

We tend to think it is about placing an order… almost like a shopping list that when it grows to a point of big enough need…we should bring to God. Or prayer an be spoken of as if it’s fitting as an emergency protocol…for it’s common to hear someone say… “Nothing left to do but… pray.”

We tend to think we know who we are and what we are doing… and when we need a little help… we’ll check in.

But the truth is that without knowing our primary reference point…we are lost.

Utterly lost.

And we’ve lost our most basic orientation to the way that life is.

Just as disorientation can refer to the danger that firefighters face… or hikers in the mountains…or pilots flying planes…Jesus sees our relationship to the whole of life. [3b]

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