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Luke 11: 1-13 "TEACH US TO PRAY... " Luke 11:1"
Day 139 – Luke 11
Text: Luke 11: 1-13
“TEACH US TO PRAY… ” Luke 11:1
As we come to the close of our study of “The Lord’s Prayer” we must also come to the conclusion that this model prayer offers very deep insights. The lessons that the Lord Jesus taught would indeed more than meet the request of the Disciples when they requested, “Teach us to pray.”
The Disciples were now taught how they could pray at a little deeper level. It was now up to them to put their newly acquired knowledge to good use. It is one thing to know how to pray, and quite another thing to become a man of prayer.
THE SHORTER ENDING OF THE LORD’S PRAYER
There are two “versions” of The Lord’s Prayer recorded in the Gospels. Luke has a slightly shorter ending than Matthew. The fact that Luke had a shorter ending should once again remind us that this prayer was meant as a model prayer, and not meant for the purpose of recitation at worship services!
If this prayer was meant to be remembered and recited from memory, than it would be more correct for Luke to have recorded this model prayer verbatim! The fact that Luke chose a shorter version argues for this prayer to be as it was intended by the Lord Jesus – a good format to use to improve one’s prayer life.
A LOOK AT THE LONG ENDING IN MATTHEW’S VERSION
In Matthew’s Gospel, the longer version had these words,
“For Yours is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
Matthew’s account of The Lord’s Prayer began with the mind focused on God as Father in Heaven. The petitioner must indeed begin praying with his heart and mind seeking to grasp who God really is.
1. He is “Father…”
2. But He is more than just “Father” in the usual human understanding of this word… He is “Father in Heaven.”
a) The majesty of God must never be lost at any time (Cf. Isaiah 57:15, 66:1-2)
b) He inhabits eternity, and yet He deigns to dwell on earth, and in the hearts of those who are humble and contrite.
3. The Father’s Name is to be hallowed… or kept sacred and holy in the heart of the petitioner…
4. His kingdom is to be thought of… and prayed for…
5. His will is to be considered, and desired. His will is also to be obeyed…
The beginning of The Lord’s Prayer commences with great and lofty thoughts of God. How should one end the time of communion with God in prayer? Matthew challenges us to consider dwelling on the glorious kingdom of God. The Lord as King, high and lifted up would be a fitting thought to conclude one’s time of praying to God.
CULTIVATING A DEEP PRAYER-LIFE
We have a tremendous model of prayer taught by the Lord Jesus Christ. The challenge is to practise prayer as Jesus did in His life. Let us look at an important comment on the prayer life of Jesus as it is recorded in the Book of Hebrews.
“You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek, who in the days of His flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear…”
From this comment, we understand that Jesus could never have taught His Disciples to merely recite The Lord’s Prayer. This passage of Scripture teaches us how the Lord Jesus understood and practised prayer.
1. Prayer was made with “supplications.” This word tells us that there was a great sense of earnestness in the way Jesus prayed.
2. To underscore this understanding, we read that Jesus would often pray with “vehement cries and tears.” Prayer was no mere recitation of standard compositions of prayer, no matter how eloquently written they may be. Prayer was entirely personal, deep and moving.
3. Each time the Lord Jesus prayed, He would focus on His Father with all His awesome powers! His Father was able to save Him from death… if it was within His Will.
4. Every time Jesus prayed, it was with the spirit of “godly fear.” At no time did He take for granted His position as Son of God. When He chose incarnation, when He put on flesh, He “learned obedience by the things He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).
APPLYING “THE LORD’S PRAYER”
It is important for us to memorize The Lord’s Prayer, but not for the purpose of mere recitation. When we have hidden The Lord’s Prayer in our heart, we can then use it in a number of ways:-
1. We can use it to teach us how to deepen our prayer life.
2. We can use it to correct wrong concepts and approaches.
3. We can use it to strengthen our resolve to deepen our prayer life.
HOW IS YOUR PRAYER LIFE?
How important it is to check our prayer life from time to time. There are a number of things that can go wrong in our prayer life. Are these problems yours too?
1. We have a “lack-lustre” prayer life. Our prayer life is anything but vibrant!
2. We do not pray much, unless we are facing a crisis.
3. We do not know how to sense the Lord’s Presence when we pray.
4. We do not know how to deepen our prayer life at all.
5. Prayer is not something we look forward to doing at all.
We could easily add to this list! Do we not need to say humbly like the Disciples of old, “Lord, teach us to pray…” and mean it!
Webmaster’s Note :
If you are seeking a deeper level of understanding of prayer, please check out Pastor Charlie Tan’s excellent weekly articles on The Theology of Prayer , which includes a more indepth study of The Lord’s Prayer and how it applies to our prayer-life.