Prayer – Part 5
It would be difficult in a series of blogs on prayer to ignore the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples. Luke 11v1-4, Matthew 6v9-13. However it is also difficult to say something brief about this prayer. I will try to be succinct!
Firstly Jesus taught the disciples to pray this prayer because they asked him to. See Luke. They had obviously noticed how regularly Jesus would go away to a quiet place by himself and spend time talking to his heavenly Father. This was unusual and distinctive. They wanted to know how to do it themselves. If we are looking for motivation to pray we can’t do better than follow the example of Jesus.
Other things worthy of note are –
- Jesus starts by saying that Jesus is “Our Father” not “My Father”. Even though we pray alone there is a corporate element about our relationship with God. He isn’t just my Father, or Jesus’ Father – he is our Father.
- We should address the person we are praying to, see him, consider him, picture him as Father as we prayer. Not as our experience of earthly Father, good or bad as that may be, but as the picture of the ideal loving, intimate Father. The Father that human Fathers are meant to emulate.
- Our focus on prayer should be on God rather than ourselves and our needs, especially at the start of our prayer. Our desire should be that God’s name will be honoured and glorified, that His will is done.
- We should be looking and asking for our basic needs to be met, our daily bread, without that we will not be able to do God’s will.
- Similarly we need to ensure that we ask for and receive forgiveness as this will impact our ability to do God’s will. As will the fact that we haven’t forgiven others.
- Temptation is something else we want to avoid as that too gets in the way of doing the Father’s will.
Let us prayer as Jesus did, as regularly as he did, and focusing on the Father will rather than ourselves!
Written By Tony Thompson
Tony is the leader of Hope Church Luton. He works full time for the church and is married to Anne and they have 2 sons.