We refer to this as the Lord’s Prayer, but the NIV Study Bible notes suggest this is really the Disciple’s Prayer; the “real” Lord’s Prayer is John 17. The details vary slightly, but the main point remains the same: Honor God first, ask for daily needs and forgiveness.Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:1-4
Thoughts about serving others
This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.
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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.
One Reply to “Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer”
From the beginning, it’s interesting to observe that the disciples (and others listening to Jesus) want to know how to pray. They’re looking for specific instructions to make sure they do it correctly. The Pharisees have no doubt made this a compelling process since they are known for openly loud and lofty prayers that propel them into the limelight.
Jesus breaks this tradition by greatly simplifying the process, removing the incredible framework that supports the Pharisees, while not targeting them in the process. Indeed, the rather simple outline must have been refreshing to see while perhaps confusing in its simplicity.
For the past few years, I’ve really been focusing on how to draw others to Christ, to help lead as many as possible into a vibrant relationship with Jesus. Many argue that there is no God, no need for Christianity at all. This of course is problematic when its really thought through and leads to moral relevancy issues as individuals create their own definition of right and wrong.
Jesus provides the outline that honors God first, then turns to our personal needs with important caveats. The lesson that follows in Luke adds much to the understanding (tomorrow’s post), but the key point here is to recognize God as one who is worthy of all praise, honor and glory–not us, not man at all. Put God first. The consistency here helps us as we reach out to those who don’t know Christ, though this is probably not the first discussion we will have with those who have chosen other paths, especially the irreligious.
Forgiveness is such an important piece of our prayer life, something we must constantly remember. At the same time, we need to be willing to forgive others if we’re going to ask for our own forgiveness. Again, this is consistent with the parables and teaching of Jesus.
Finally, we wrestle with temptation. Jesus knows we will be tempted, we will be pulled toward sin constantly. This reminder helps us to realize this isn’t unusual and apparently of such importance that it shows up in both passages. Lord keep us far from temptation, remind us that you give us a way out every single time!
Richard Foster’s book, Prayer: Finding the heart’s true home, goes into many more details, but we know we can just keep it simple as Jesus provides. Consistency matters. Lord help us constantly remember you are worthy of all our praise!