READ : Luke 11:1-13
One day the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). This request was prompted by their observing Jesus praying. He taught first by personal example. Second, He gave them the words of the Lord’s Prayer to use as a pattern. Third, He taught them to be persistent and to expect an answer.
In other teaching sessions Jesus told them to pray for their enemies (Matt. 5:44), to forgive others before praying for forgiveness (Mark 11:25), to avoid babbling meaningless words or praying to elicit praise (Matt. 6:5-8), to pray for workers to reap a spiritual harvest (Matt. 9:38), to pray when tempted (Matt. 26:41), to pray in agreement with others (Matt. 18:19), and to pray using His powerful name (John 14:13-14). Jesus prayed for them and all believers (John 17:6-26).
Are we teaching our disciples to pray? All believers should continue to learn and teach how to pray. Patterns of prayer such as at mealtime and bedtime encourage faithful prayer. Prayer groups, prayer chains, congregational prayer, personal quiet times all develop loving, spiritual relationships in which God teaches us and we can teach others. I shall never forget hearing my mother pray for me at the breakfast table when I faced a test, a challenge, or a disappointment. Jesus taught her and she taught me.
Lord, teach us to pray as You taught Your disciples. Amen.