Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Lord's Prayer

An example for us to learn from.

Luke 11:1-4  He was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.”

2 He said to them, “Whenever you pray, say: Father, Your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone in debt to us. And do not bring us into temptation.”

One time when Jesus was praying his disciples were close by his side, but it seems that they could not hear him praying, so they asked him to teach them to do it.

Jesus starts his sample prayer in a way that was strange to the Jews, this was a new concept to them, for them to refer to God as a father wasn't something that they did. God is supposed to be approached with awe and reverence yet he is also our loving father, but they had never viewed God in that way. They didn't realize that talking to God can be just as personal as talking to an earthly father can be.

The priorities in Jesus prayer made it clear that praying isn't a multipurpose tool in your pocket that we can whip out to save the day, notice that it's all about God first and then our needs. But look at the needs that Jesus mentions in this prayer, his list of stuff to ask for is much different than ours is, he asks for enough bread for today, forgiveness of sins and to keep us from temptation. Too many of our prayers are a check list of things that we don't really need.
"Prayer is the language of a man burdened with a sense of need.”
- E. M. Bounds
I need to be careful about my attitude in this area. Praying is part of a close relationship with God, I need to have respect for who he is and spend time listening to him rather than controlling the relationship myself.

You are awesome God, thank you for your Word which teaches us how to relate to you, thank you for allowing me to call you Father. Help me to pray as I should, focusing on you, focusing on my real needs and the needs of others.