Lord, Teach Us To Pray – Part 1


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Luke 11:1-4 And it came to pass, that, as {Jesus} 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.

Jesus had already taught His disciples how to pray … but they weren’t listening. Are YOU listening tonight?

Jesus called His apostles – the first disciples – right after His temptation by the devil in the wilderness. “Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). In between preaching messages the Bible tells us that Jesus – walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea (Matthew 4:18). They were fishermen. Jesus called out to them:

Matthew 4:19 … Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Jesus then called James and John the sons of Zebedee (Matthew 4:21). These four men followed Jesus to a mountain near the Lake of Gennesaret and Capernaum, the fishing town on the northern shore of the Lake of Gennesaret. The Lake of Gennesaret is shaped like a bowl, and strong winds serve as a natural amplifier. Sherry and I were at the David Crockett State Park the other day at their swimming pool. Two lifeguards were talking – one on either side of the very large pool – without raising their voices at all. The water carried their voices, and these high school kids realized and were using this to their advantage. As Jesus preached on that mountain the winds blowing toward the lake and off of the mountain carried His voice. He would not have to shout. As Jesus preached He told His disciples how to pray:

Matthew 6:9-13 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

The disciples heard Jesus’ teaching on prayer, just as many of us have heard sermons on various subjects, but it just didn’t penetrate. Sometimes we don’t want to hear. It’s like the time several preachers held a revival, and agreed to preach no more than 20 minutes each. One of the preachers got into the sermon and forgot the time limit. He preached 20 … 30 … 40 minutes. Finally one of the preachers sitting behind him on the stage had enough. He threw a song book at the offending preacher, but it missed and hit a man in the front row. As the man in the front row was going down he shouted:

Hit me again. I can still hear him preaching!

They didn’t hear Jesus the first time He taught on prayer. But the Bible tells us that “as Jesus 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.

Have your children ever asked you “Momma, Daddy, Grandma, Grandpa … will YOU teach us to pray?” Perhaps it is because our children or grand children have never heard us praying. We have not made prayer a habit in our lives. But if we are saved by faith in Christ, children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26), then prayer should be natural to us. Jesus prayed, and prayed frequently. So they asked Him “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples”. I don’t think the disciples knew Who Jesus was. They perhaps thought Him to be a great rabbi, a great teacher, a great mentor. They called Him “Lord”. But they knew that John the Baptist – a man well respected by the faithful – was a praying man who taught his students how to pray. So now they asked Jesus, “Teach us to pray”.

The Model of Prayer

When I was growing up in the Presbyterian Church I was not taught to have a personal relationship to God by faith in Christ. But I remember every Sunday reciting two Liturgys. For those who are not Presbyterian, a “Liturgy” is from the Greek “leitourgia” which means “an established formula for public worship, a proscribed ritual which many churches use in their services and in their ceremonial rites”. We recited the Apostle’s Creed:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

Maker of heaven and earth,

and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and buried;

He descended into hell;

on the third day He rose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;

from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.


We also recited the Lord’s Prayer. We used the prayer from Matthew 6 and recited it in unison. We recited it like it was indeed a prayer. Jesus never meant Matthew 6 or Luke 11 to be a verbatim prayer. He said in Matthew 6🕖:7

when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do”

Vain repetition” is to utter something without thought. It is like the Catholic uttering “Hail Mary’s” or “Our Fathers” on a Rosary without thinking or addressing God. Prayer is always to be addressed TO God, TO the God Who saved you. What Jesus was doing in Luke 11 and Matthew 6 is establishing the necessary elements of effective prayer. Let’s look at these elements.

The Elements Of Effective Prayer

Luke 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Matthew 6:9 .. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

UNITY Is Absolutely Necessary! The first word in prayer is OUR. That is very important. OUR. The Christian is a member of the Family of God. In order for God to hear prayer WE MUST BE UNITED. It cannot be US and THEM. It is OUR. When our Lord Jesus prayed for His Church before His death on Calvary He prayed:

John 17:20-23 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Unity in the Church is imperative if you will have unity with God. During our Lord’s Table services we always quote:

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Unity is imperative to answered prayer. If a husband is at war with his wife, or a wife is at war with her husband, God does not hear your prayers:

1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

If you harbor unforgiveness or separateness within the Body of Christ God will not hear your prayer:

Matthew 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Jesus encourages us to “be KIND to one another, TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). We have all failed God. Yet God tells us forgive anyway. Let it go. OUR Father.

SALVATION Is Absolutely Necessary! The second word is Father. OUR FATHER. There is but one Father over the family of God. He is the Head of the Triune Godhead, the Father. The Father of the family is the One Who punishes the wayward child. We are not “Fathers” in the sense that God is our Father. Jesus said:

Matthew 23:9-10 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

I had a “Daddy” when I was growing up. But I have only One “Father”, and that is “God the Father”. He is the One that we address in prayer. We call Him “Father” because Jesus Christ – our Master – tells us to do so, and equips us to be so. If you have been saved by faith in Christ then YOU have ONE FATHER, “Our Father which art in Heaven”. Praise God for the Father. If you are NOT saved by faith in Christ then God is NOT your Father. As Jesus told Nicodemus:

John 3:3 … Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Just as you were born into your human family, in a spiritual way you must be born into the Family of God. Billy Graham asked:

Have you been born again? Call it conversion, call it commitment, call it repentance, call it being saved, but has it happened to you? Does Christ live in your heart? Do you know it? Many people have thought a long time about religion and Christianity and yet have never made a commitment. Are you committed to Jesus Christ? ….. How is the new birth accomplished? We cannot inherit new birth. The Bible says that those who are born again “were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13). Our fathers and mothers may be the greatest born-again Christians in the world, but that doesn’t make us born-again Christians, too. Many people have the idea that because they were born into a Christian home, they are automatically Christians. They’re not. … We cannot work our way to God, either. The Bible says that salvation comes “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).

When we come to Christ – heeding His call to salvation – He through the Spirit of God causes us to be spiritually born into His family. If you are born again of God’s Spirit – made alive by God (Colossians 2:13) – forgiven by Christ’s Blood – caused by God to be born again (1 Peter 1:2-4) THEN God is your Father. You address Him in prayer. As Father He is the Provider, the One Who oversees the Family of God.

GLORY TO GOD Is Absolutely Necessary! Jesus said for us to pray “Our Father which art in Heaven, HALLOWED BE THY NAME. Every prayer prayed must start and finish with GLORY to GOD the Father. To glorify God is to acknowledge His greatness, to give Him honor in praise and worship. Let me ask you this question:

If you have cancer – are you giving God the glory?
If you have lost a loved one – are you giving God the glory?

Many of the prayers we pray have NOTHING to do with bringing glory to God. That is a shame. When we do not make glory to God our primary goal then we treat God the Father as if WE are the gods, and He our Servant, the Genie in the Lamp. The Scripture says:

Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by {Jesus}.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

We are to make glory to our Father
the GOAL of our PRAYERS.

It’s not about making ourselves feel better. Don’t get me wrong – I understand the need. When my 17 year old boy died I prayed that God would turn that around. When my leg was crushed in a motorcycles accident in 1983 I prayed that God would take away the pain. I understand. I know. But we are to seek God’s glory. We are to be like Job was who, upon losing all that he had, said:

Job 1:21 … Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

Many of our prayer can descend into that horrible sin of idolatry if we are not careful. God has said:

Isaiah 42:8 I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

When we make OURSELVES the center of prayer and not God’s glory then we make OURSELVES our own GODS. The Lord will not tolerate this. Let us seek His glory in all things. Jesus as He prepared to go to the Cross prayed in Gethsemane:

Luke 22:42-46 … 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.

If we were to pray as Jesus prayed – seeking God’s glory – then even in the NO answers to prayer the Father would send an angel from Heaven to strenghthen us in our time of need. The Father loves us, but sometimes, ofttimes, the answers to our prayers has to be NO. To answer a wrong prayer is to bring disrepute upon the character of God, and the Father will not do that. EVER.

Luke 11:2 … Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Matthew 6:10 … Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

When we pray our prayer is to be like the song we sing.

Have Thine own way Lord

Have Thine own way

Thou art the potter I am the clay

Mold me and make me after Thy will

While I am waiting yielded and still

Here is where we will stop for the night. We will come back the Wednesday following our Vacation Bible School and continue this message. Let’s pray!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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