The Book of Luke, Teach Us To Pray - Lesson 139
Luke 11:1-13, 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. 2And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3Give us day by day our daily bread. 4And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 8I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. 9And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
One of the great hallmarks of our Lord Jesus Christ was that He was a man of prayer.
The Gospels are full of references to times of prayer and instructions concerning prayer so if we are untaught about prayer it is not due to a lack of instruction in Godís word.
We see here the results of the testimony of the prayer life of the Lord Jesus Christ in the life of one of his disciples.
This unnamed disciple was so deeply impressed with the manner in which Jesus prayed that he said to him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
Jesus did not refuse him his request, for prayer is the lifeblood of Godís children as Jesus demonstrated on a regular basis.
By Jesusí actions he always demonstrated that if he is to be served there is an absolute need to maintain a constant communion with God in prayer.
So he offers to this disciple and all of his disciples an example prayer to the Father that demonstrates the essential elements of prayer.
This prayer is commonly called the Lordís prayer but it was given to the disciples so it could as easily and as accurately be called the disciplesí prayer.
The Gospel of Luke has, by far in the Gospel record, the most emphasis on prayer.
Up to this point, the emphasis of Luke has fallen on the prayer life of the Lord Jesus Christ.
But here a certain unnamed disciple sees the Lordís practice as a pattern, one which each disciple should follow, and because of this the Lord is asked to teach the disciples to pray.
We find that this passage begins with Jesus taking a time out for prayer, as He often did.
As these were regular seasons of prayer in the life of Christ his disciples were given many opportunities to observe this pattern in the life of their master.
Apparently they had finally realized that just as prayer played a very important role in the life of John the Baptist, and in the life of the Lord, so it should be in their life as well.
One of the disciples, perhaps it was one of Johnís disciples who now followed Jesus, asked Jesus to teach His disciples to pray.
It is interesting to note that Jesus did not raise the subject of prayer here nor did he pressure his disciples to pray.
But he let the disciples conclude on their own, based upon their observations of him, how important prayer was.
Jesus Christ was ready and willing to teach on prayer but in this case he waited until His disciples were eager to learn.
This condition presents the best condition for teaching for motivation to learn is highest when a student asks a teacher to teach.
Another lesson we can learn from this is the power of a good example.
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.
How important it is for those in leadership positions to be a good example to those who follow.
For this is what mostly moves others to do likewise.
It is no accident that the disciple asked Jesus to teach them to pray at the very time our Lord had set aside time for His own prayer.
The prayer life of Jesus Christ encouraged this disciple to ask Him to teach them to do likewise.
The right prayer life is hard to come by.
None of us, I suppose, are at the place in our prayer life where we should be.
There is nothing in the gospels where the disciples were characterized as men of prayer.
Jesusí prayer life was, even in the garden of Gethsemane, something which He practiced alone, without much help from his disciples.
The petition of this one disciple was an open admission that prayer was not only needed, but was a deficiency in his life and in the lives of his fellows disciples.
This request from this disciple must have cheered the heart of the Lord Jesus for it revealed a humble spirit, a child like spirit of dependency.
The scribes and Pharisees, the wise and learned, were too proud, to admit their need to ask Jesus anything, other than to show where His authority came from, and therefore they learned nothing from Him.
Children will readily admit that they donít know something but adults, many times, are too proud to ask for help.
The ability to learn begins with the ability to admit oneís ignorance and to express oneís desire to learn.
This takes a humble spirit, a spirit in which God delights for only a humble spirit can be taught the things of God.
God hides himself from the wise and the prudent but he reveals himself unto babes.
So in response to the disciples request for instruction in prayer Jesus Christ offers a sample prayer, a model prayer, perhaps it even could be called a pattern prayer.
He also follows this prayer with examples of the actions of men with regard to the requests of other men .
So his first lesson includes this model prayer.
When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3Give us day by day our daily bread. 4And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
As we can easily see this prayer is not a long prayer.
Long prayers, just to be long, I suppose, ever impressed God.
As with much of scripture it is given as an example whereby we are to learn the essential elements and apply them to the overall subject.
The prayer is a skeletal one, one which can be filled in with much greater detail, but it is also one that outlines the essential elements of our prayers.
The prayer deals with the coming of the Kingdom of God, at which time the character of God will be fully revealed.
We can see here that the hallowing of Godís name will be fully accomplished with the coming of His Kingdom.
The coming of our Lordís kingdom will take place at the Lord Jesus Christís second coming, when the whole creation is restored and rid of sin, and when Godís holiness and majesty is fully revealed.
As we see in the eighth chapter of Romans the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain for things to be restored and this prayer petitions God to bring it to pass.
So the first element of prayer has to do with the authority of the Father being fully established on the earth, and for His glory and splendor to be revealed at this time.
This example prayer should cement in our hearts a love that Godís name be revered.
It should cement in our hearts a desire that His kingdom come, and it should banish from us a love for this world.
It should strengthen a desire to rid this world of manís rule and should welcome its replacement by the righteous rule of God.
Secondly the prayer deals with the area of the disciplesí physical needs.
The Father is also the provider for His children, and thus the disciples are taught to beseech Him for their daily needs.
The bread that is referred to in this prayer certainly stands not only for ďfoodĒ in a general sense, but also for all of the other areas of physical need.
The Father is the Sustainer of life and here He is to be petitioned to meet our physical needs.
When we do not pray for God to provide our daily bread, we may be revealing a self‑sufficient attitude which does not depend daily upon Godís provisions.
Or we may be living a life of material comfort and the laying up of earthly treasures which we think makes the praying for daily needs unnecessary.
The prayer also deals with the spiritual needs of saints who still sin.
Salvation delivers the repentant sinner from the penalty of sin, but only the return of Christ will rid the saint of the presence of sin.
There is no sinless perfection in this present body.
So Jesus taught his disciples to pray for forgiveness for their sins.
All creation awaits and yearns for the coming of the Kingdom of God.
Manís body must have the provisions of God for its physical needs.
So too the spirit of man desperately needs the forgiveness of sins and Godís protection from committing further sin.
In order to enjoy fellowship with God, the barrier of our sins must be removed by His forgiveness.
There is an on‑going need for this, and it is for this that Jesus taught us to pray.
Then our Lord included the expression,
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.
Godís forgiveness of our sins must be the motivator for us to forgive otherís sins.
When others trespass against us how terrible it would be to forget Godís forgiveness of us and withhold forgiveness of others.
Remember the story of the servant who was forgiven of the 10,000 talent debt but went from the presence of his master and mistreated his fellow servant.
Instead of forgiving him he demanded the immediate payment of one hundred pence and upon refusal he cast him into prison until he could pay.
Remember how hard Jesus met that heart of unforgiveness?
O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
We not only need Godís forgiveness, but we also need Godís enablement to be able to forgive.
When we do not daily pray for Godís forgiveness of our sins (and the grace to forgive the sins of others) we reveal a dishonesty concerning our own daily sinfulness.