Taking a dive into how Jesus taught the disciples to pray. Prayer can be something that you may feel like you are stuck and do not know what to say or do. Do not worry you have good company, the disciples, who were around Him all the time, were left with questions about prayer. We can find some of His answers to prayer in Luke 11 where He went over what to pray, how to pray, and why we should have confidence in our prayers. First we are going to look at what words Jesus gave to His disciplines to pray.
We can see Jesus taught us to go through different topics and types of prayer. He did not say it can only be a list of requests, or a list of regrets, which we may do and there is nothing wrong with it, but I just want to take a step back and explore the other types of prayer.
Jesus taught His followers a recipe for prayer, going through a multiple types. Starting with praising and worshiping God acknowledging His power, authority, holiness, omnipotence, and omniscience. Moving to asking for god’s kingdom to come to Earth. Jesus wants us to seek renewal and restoration of the Earth by God’s kingdom coming. He knows that praying for HIs earth will change us and our perspective. It makes us get out of looking inward, which is our sinful nature and looks outward instead. Jesus also is very confident and aware of the power of prayer. He knows that when we pray something in God’s will, the prayer sets off motion. It is like dominoes tumbling over, once it starts it will not be stopped. Your prayer being aligned with God’s will for the earth is powerful!
I really just want you to pause here, and let that sink in.
Your prayer being aligned with God’s will for the earth is powerful!
Your prayer has an impact on the Earth. God gave us power over the earth and when you desire and pray for things in His will things change. Will it happen that moment, maybe not but that does not mean the answer is not already set in motion. You may find some comfort in looking at Daniel’s interaction about a prayer request He sent up, “Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.”” (Daniel 10:12-14) Daniel’s prayer was heard, action started yet it was not answered right away because of an unseen war. This war is still raging yet that does not mean God forgot or wants you to stop asking exactly the opposite. God wants you to continue to pray, and know that your prayer set things into action.
Jesus’ prayer then becomes a prayer of petition. Asking your Heavenly Father for your needs and what will help you make it through your day today and the future days. This is the prayer most people think about, but Jesus was teaching a prayer in a community. “Give us” Jesus’ model prayer was for a group of people to pray together. There is something special about a group of people gathering in His name. God loves it when we come together in prayer. There is nothing inherently wrong with a give me prayer, if you need money for rent, pray for it. You need a healing to keep your job, pray for it. Let’s just play around with trying to apply your daily needs and prayer requests to others as well. Praying that God give your church community enough money for rent this month. Praying that your neighborhoods get healed from any illness. We have such a strong and sinful tendency to look inward, so why don’t you try to expand your prayers. God knows what you need and expanding your prayers for other people does not weaken His abilities to give you what you need by any means.
Next, we see a confession of sins. Asking God to forgive your sins and acknowledging the wrong actions and words done. You can notice here that it is also a group of collective sin. Most of us agree that our world is not the way we want it. There is evil and injustice everywhere we look, making it hard to want to look at anything at times. It may be easier to put on blinders and walk, but this group confession of sin seems fitting for the state of our society. We formed it and have been on the sidelines for too long. Passively letting injustice gone unpunished leading to more corruption. Yes each person sins daily, as individuals, malicious thoughts, wrong words, not being a cheerful giver, whether it be a malicious thought, a slip of the time, or lying, but we may also need to realize that as a society we also sin. We have allowed women to be objectified, impoverished people to get trapped, incarcerated people to be left without hope, minorities not given the same opportunities, overweight people to feel unworthy, people with chronic illness with no support or compassion. The list goes on, but we as a community have allowed this to happen by not stepping in, speaking up or taking action. We have sinned and fallen short of our calling to bring light to every area. We need to confess our sin as individuals and as a society to be able to connect with God and allow our prayers to be the prayers of a righteous man. The types of prayers that will be answered. Additionally our acknowledgment of our short comings only makes it easier for us to forgive others. As we ask for and accept His forgiveness, it makes it easy to forgive others. When we see ourselves as imperfect it is easier to extent the mercy that Jesus already extended to us.
Jesus’ short prayer ends with asking for us to not be lead into temptation. Acknowledging that we are so easily tempted. Acknowledging where our strength and hope really lies… God. We cannot make it on our own, it is not about willpower, but instead asking for God’s grace and for His strength to help us to overcome what ever obstacles today may bring. A prayer to bring light and life with us through His strength to allow us to not be overtaken,
I find it really important to not end here, but to continue reading as Jesus continued teaching on prayer.
“Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!””
Right after Jesus gives some on what to say in our prayers, He continues on to teach us how to pray, why to pray and how you can trust God. He wants us to be resilient and unashamed in our prayers. He does not want us to try to hide the fact that we need Him, but to come boldly to Him at any hour, with any request ,even if we feel ashamed. God wants you to come to Him even if you feel ridiculous. He wants you to come and ask for everything and leaves you with the assurance that a human Father, although corrupt and sinful, still gives good gifts to His son. God knows everything and truly wants the best fro you with pure motives, He has you and you can leave your time of prayer worry free because God is a perfect, loving Father.
I write this to just encourage you to pray, whether it be a short prayer or a long pray, just pray. Give Him your worries, and cares to take on His peace, love and joy. Your perfect Father is near. His unfailing love know no end.
He loves you and knows how powerful your prayers are so come boldly to Him.