Text:“And He said unto them, when ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” Luke 11:2.
There are some interesting facts and lessons which we can learn from Christ’s teachings on prayer. Especially, the event that led to the need to teach his disciples how to pray and the content of the prayer he taught them.
The first thing to note is the fact that it was his disciples who went to him and asked him to teach them how to pray. The request was prodded out of their desire to be prayerful like their Master. Luke 11:1 says: “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray as John also taught his disciples”.
This shows we can only be prayerful only when we have the desire to pray; when we have the spirit of prayer; when we have the passion to be like our Master and Lord Jesus Christ. If we do not have the spirit of prayer, praying will simply be mechanical and our soul will not truly connect with God who answers prayer.
The second lesson is that Christ himself never joked with prayers. He started his ministry with prayer, went through it with prayer and ended with prayer. Jesus was an example of a prayer warrior. We need to ask ourselves, did Jesus need to pray? The answer is No, but he prayed to make himself example unto us. To make us know that in prayer lies our power as Christians. A song writer says: “What needless pains we bear because we do not carry everything to the Lord in prayer.
The prayer taught by Jesus Christ known as the Lord’s Prayer is very apt and complete. It is not a summary but a full prayer, even though it is very brief. Each clause is a petition, meaningful and powerful. The prayer is in two parts. The first half consists of petitions, which are all concerned with God, His will and kingdom. This correspond with what Jesus had earlier said Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and these things shall be added unto you”.
For our prayers to be answered, we need to always honour and praise God by our words and actions.
The second half of the prayer consists of petitions for ourselves: our bodily needs, our temptations, sins and deliverance from evil. There is no more any man needs beyond this.
Beloved, let us learn from our Master and also plead for the spirit of prayer. For in prayers lies our strength and victory.
Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi Ph.D