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Teach us to Pray

Luke 11:1 NIV
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

The disciples had observed Jesus praying on numerous occasions

He prayed when making decisions like choosing the 12, when performing miracles like healing and feeding the 5,000 and when facing opposition.

They had seen the impact of Jesus’ prayer

They knew from John’s example that prayer can be taught

In response to this request, Jesus gives what we know as the Lord’s Prayer:

Lessons from Jesus’ prayer

Luke 11:2–4 NIV
He said to them, “When you pray, say: “ ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’ ”
Matthew adds “but deliver us from the evil one”
KJV adds “for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever Amen”

Begin with worship and recognition of God

‘Father, hallowed be your name
We are entering the presence of God
Hebrews 4:16 NIV
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Pray in agreement with kingdom values

your kingdom come.
Matthew 6:33 NIV
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Pray for provision of our needs

Give us each our daily bread.
Philippians 4:6–7 NIV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Pray for forgiveness

Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
1 John 1:9 NIV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
While forgiveness looks back at our past, we are also to look forward to our future actions and decisions.

Pray for protection from temptation

And lead us not into temptation.
Hebrews 4:15 NIV
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

Lessons from Jesus’ parable

Luke 11:5–8 NIV
Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

What this passage does not teach

Persistence changes the mind of God

God is unchanging - and that is a good thing

God is reluctant to answer our prayers

God always wants what is best for us, but sometimes His timing is different than ours.

What this passage teaches

God’s provision is often in response to our asking

Luke 11:9–10 NIV
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
God is waiting to act in answer to our prayers
James 4:2–3 NIV
You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

God’s provision is always what is best for us

Luke 11:11–13 NIV
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
James 1:17 NIV
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
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