February 28, 2022
“Jesus was praying in a certain place and when He was finished, one of his disciples said to Him ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.’”
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“Jesus was praying in a certain place and when He was finished, one of his disciples said to Him ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘Whenever you pray, say: Father, Your name be honored as holy. Your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sin, for we ourselves also forgive everyone in debt to us. And do not lead us into temptation.’” Luke 11:1-4 (HCSB)
It is a natural human compulsion to pray because God created us to communicate with Him.
Prayer is an interesting phenomenon in our culture. Preachers, rock stars, athletes, politicians, professionals, and blue-collar workers…everyone prays, sometimes. I have been on airline trips with people who claimed to be atheists, yet when we hit some severe turbulence, they always cry out, “Oh God!”
An essential component of evangelism is life’s “turbulence,” shaking the unbeliever’s perceived security. Difficulty makes people cry out for answers and meaning in life. The evangelist should always be prepared to give reason and hope in the midst of life’s turbulence.
MC Hammer once sang, “We’ve got to pray, just to make it today.” I agree with that sentiment, but it is not enough to shout vain prayers into the air. If you want your prayers to be heard and be effective, there is 1) a proper way to pray, 2) a specific God to pray to, and 3) a Spirit-leading, which is essential in determining when and for what to pray.
Often, people feel unable to pray, and they assume the ability to pray is natural to some folks yet lacking in others. The disciples were on the right track when they believed 1) Jesus could teach them to pray, and 2) He would be willing to do so.
Throughout Scripture, Jesus taught us to pray in five parts:
1) Who to pray to
2) What to pray for
3) The importance of persistence
4) The certainty that He will answer rightly, because of God’s love & goodness
5) The Holy Spirit (given to ALL believers) is the source of power & wisdom for all proper prayer
(See also Matthew 6:9-13)
While all prayer may be sincere, to some extent, much of the prayer in this World is misdirected and improperly motivated. Hence, it is possible to be sincere yet sincerely wrong. Let’s continue seeking God’s Word so that we may love the things He loves and hate the things He hates. Ask that His Spirit will guide you to pray according to God’s will, as He requires of us.