Jesus’ own disciples once petitioned Him, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11.1). If they felt like they needed help in understanding prayer, I believe many of us could say the same thing. This week, let’s all begin by seeking God’s help to understand prayer.
Jesus provided for His disciples an answer to their question (Luke 11.1-4). He began this model by addressing the Father. I find it interesting that He chose this term as opposed to the more generic word, God. We know that a father’s ears are always attentive to his children. Prayer is about molding our hearts to the will of the Father (hallowed be your name; your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven) as opposed to changing God’s mind in order to fit our desires. Prayer is about recognizing our source of blessings (give us today our daily bread). Prayer is about recognizing our greatest blessings (forgive us our sins). Consequently, this reminds us how to treat others (for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us; c.f. Matthew 18.21-35). Prayer is about seeking God’s protection (lead us not in temptation but deliver us from the evil one). Notice that the example here given by Jesus is in relation to one’s spiritual life as opposed to one’s physical life.
The Bible gives many reasons for praying to God. From the book of Psalms, we see that some prayed for comfort (Psalm 119.76), gratitude (Psalm 118.28-29), and strength (Psalm 32.6-7). These three provide a good starting point for learning how to pray. We also see examples of when to pray in the scriptures. Prayer is a great way to begin one’s day (Psalm 5.1-3). For that matter, anytime is a great time (Psalm 55.17). Daniel’s pattern for prayer is very well known (Daniel 6.10). Although, I would surmise that many would have a difficult time praying to God three times a day. If that is the case, then do not let it hinder what you can do. Daniel was an incredible person who had a relationship with God rivaled by few. Maybe once a day, or even once a week will serve as the starting which enables you to cultivate the relationship that Daniel obtained.
To all of my Willowdale family, and all others who desire to begin this journey with us, let us lift our voices together this week to God with the desire to seek God’s help to foster a prayer life in accordance with God’s will that helps us grow closer to Him. This may even be a good way for families to learn to pray together. Each week we will change our petition in harmony with our overall goal of lifting our voices together. Please join us!