HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Please turn with me in your Bibles for the Scripture Reading — In the Book of Luke 11:1-4
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. 2 And 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. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And 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.
Please pay particular attention to verse 1, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1
In today’s Scripture, we find Jesus in prayer. And as soon as he finishes praying, one of the disciples asks for a lesson on how to pray. This is a very important request. In order to have a righteous life of prayer, we must learn to pray.
As one who lived a life of prayer to his Father in heaven, Jesus is the best teacher to deliver this lesson. So he gave his disciples (and us) a model for prayer, showing that we must honour God and that we may make all kinds of requests that are within God’s will. ( Mathew 6:9-13.)
- Jesus prayed morning and night (Mark 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.)
- Mark 6:46-47 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. 47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.)
- He lived for God and ended each day praying to God. He also prayed before important events (Luke 6:12-13 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;)
- And before revealing that he was the Son of God, Jesus prayed (Luke 9:18-22 And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? 19 They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. 20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. 21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; 22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.)
- As Jesus faced the end of his life, he prepared himself with prayer. With the suffering of the cross looming over him, he prayed. He asked that the Father’s will would be done, and he faced death with courage and strength (Luke 22:39-46 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. 40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.)
- Jesus also prayed several times as he was crucified. His last words on the cross were a prayer (Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.)
Just as Jesus armed himself with prayer, we also must pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Following Jesus calls for a lifetime of prayer.
Father, help us to be like Jesus, always putting your will first. In good times or in tough times, let us always be people of prayer, for Jesus’ sake. In His Name, we pray. Amen.