Teach Us to Pray
Story by Jerry Lutz
There is something charmingly innocent and ironically intriguing about the disciples’ request of Jesus to teach them to pray. One would think they already knew how, but apparently, they sensed in themselves that something was missing or that they might be going about it all wrong. Was the problem the words they used or combination thereof? Perhaps their posture was incorrect? Were they not worthy to approach the Divine, and should they not even try until they felt they were? By the way, do any of these concerns sound familiar to you? If so, read on to the good news.
Surely the disciples had all prayed in some fashion before meeting Jesus and had likely heard others pray, including the “professionals” in their synagogues and in temple services. But now, observing Jesus absorbed in prayer made them aware that something was lacking in their prayers which moved them to exclaim, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
Apparently, they had never witnessed or experienced such deep communion with God as when they watched and listened to Jesus pray. They wanted the intimate connection He had with the Heavenly Father. It was clear that since prayer was such an essential part of His life, how could they be His disciples without it in theirs? A point to ponder ...
All they had to do was ask Jesus and the answer came quickly, gently and beautifully simplistic. He shared with them no secret phrases or mystical utterances. He did not scold them for what they apparently did not know or understand. Instead, He gave them (and us) the perfect model to emulate.
Ellen White gives important insight to the matter when she says, “Jesus taught His disciples that only that prayer which arises from unfeigned [sincere] lips, prompted by actual wants of the soul, is genuine, and will bring heaven’s blessing to the petitioner” (The Signs of the Times, December 3, 1896).
The Bible says Jesus taught them to say, “Our Father, which art in heaven, ...” Please take time to carefully read this perfect prayer in its entirety in Matthew 6:9–13 and determine to let the principles contained therein be woven into your prayers. He’s waiting to hear from you.