Luke 11:1 (ESV): 11 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
The story immediately previous to this incident was of Jesus and his disciples visiting Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, soaking up his teaching, but Martha grew frustrated in her serving because Mary was not helping. Jesus told Martha that Mary had her priorities right – time with Christ.
The disciples’ motivation for prayer seem to have come as they watched Jesus praying, but also having seen John the Baptist teach his disciples to pray.
Jesus responded with an abbreviated form of the Lord’s Prayer. It is interesting to consider that Jesus formed his prayer by praying for the most essential need first.
If so, it would suggest to us that our primary need is to glorify God’s name. When we are filled with a passion to worship God, then our priorities are correct to desire the will of God.
Understanding and submitting ourselves to the will of God, we can then trust God to supply our daily needs.
Trusting God to supply our needs then opens our hearts to our need to live in a right relationship with others and God.
Our Personal Relationships
It has been noted many times that the disciples did not ask Jesus to teach them how to pray, although we find in his model just that, but to pray. Furthermore, of all the things the disciples could have asked Jesus – how to heal, how to preach, etc., they asked Jesus to learn to pray.
This is the key lesson we must learn today, as well – to learn to pray. Understanding the elements of Jesus’ prayer is important, but truly we simply need to learn to pray.
Heavenly Father, may you teach me to pray, to pray for your glory and according to your will, but simply to pray. May my life be marked by close fellowship with you. Amen.