Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciples.’ And he said to them, ‘When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation” (Luke 11:1-4).
Jesus taught his disciple to pray with a simple template prayer, one that embodies what prayer should contain so well that very early Christians repeated it or its Matthean parallel verbatim. Many modern followers of Jesus continue that practice. The numerous other prayers in the New Testament and other teachings of Jesus let us know that we are not bound to these words. However, the words of this prayer still teach us profound truths about the purpose of prayer, the posture of prayer, and the implications for discipleship of prayer. This prayer praises God, petitions him for needed food and forgiveness, and asks to be spared from temptation. It also asks for the coming of God’s kingdom. In praising God, the prayer recognizes our submission to him. He deserves our worship. The prayer asks for forgiveness and connects it with the disciple’s practice of forgiving others.
As we begin 2015, let us crave to learn to pray as did these disciples. Let us also praise, love, and forgive as Jesus taught.
Thank you for visiting Call for Fire Seminar. Visit often as we continue to learn to pray from the prayers in the Bible. May your 2015 be filled with joy as prayers are answered.