READING: 1 Samuel 17-18, Luke 11:1-28
“Lord, teach us to pray.”
You might know somebody like the people I’m about to describe. When they pray, you just know that heaven hears them. It’s as if they have a direct line to the Father (which they do, of course, through Christ). Nothing sounds fake. No words are contrived. Their heart beats with the heart of God, and the words of their prayers are a genuine conversation between the Creator and the created. If you do know somebody like that, I suspect he or she is one of the few persons you know who exhibit that kind of prayer. Not many of us today, I fear, get to sit at the feet of such people.
The disciples of Jesus did, though. They were Jewish men, so it’s likely they had learned something about prayer, but the way Jesus prayed was different than anything they had seen or heard. They had learned about the ritual of prayer, but Jesus modeled a relationship of prayer. You might recall from previous devotions that Jesus pushed away from the crowds to be with the Father (Luke 5:15-16), that He prayed all night long before calling His apostles (Luke 6:12), that He allowed His disciples to be near Him as He prayed in private (Luke 9:18), and that He took three of them to the mountain to pray (Luke 9:28). Perhaps they heard Him pray as He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit (Luke 10:21). Surely these verses only skim the surface of what they experienced as they eavesdropped on the relationship between the Father and the Son – and it’s no wonder they said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1).
Based on this text, here’s the question I’ve asked myself (and then others) for years: if you were to walk with me non-stop for the next seven days . . . going every place I go . . . doing everything I do . . . hearing every word I say . . . would you come out of that week saying, “Please teach me to pray like you pray”?
And more pointedly, would I even allow somebody else to have that kind of access to my life, for fear that he might indeed pray only like I do?
Needless to say, the weight of these questions is heavy. I’m okay with the burden of the questions, though, if they drive me to be with the Father.
- Consider for yourself the question about your prayer life. Ask God to give you a deepened desire to pray like Jesus did.
- Please say a prayer for me.
PRAYER: “Lord Jesus, teach me to pray.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Samuel 19-21, Luke 11:29-54