Jesus Teaches Us To Pray

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk:

Let’s turn in our Bibles to Luke chapter 11.

I am never surprised when people don’t listen to me, their Pastor. Sadly, we are all at times hard of hearing. When our Lord Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount, He taught us the pattern of godly prayer. Jesus started out by telling us to not be like the Pharisees who loved to be seen praying by men – not by God (Matthew 6:5). The Pharisees were always seeking the spotlight, whether in giving or in praying or in following the Law of God. Jesus told us that we should not use vain repetitions in prayer (Matthew 6:7-8). Prayer is conversation with God – not nagging God. God gave us a pattern for prayer that I’m sure you’re all familiar with:

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.

I love praying this prayer every day, and then personalizing it for my day. It is important to understand that this “Lord’s Prayer” is a pattern. Anyway, Jesus taught His disciples how to pray that day on the Mount of Olives.

But they did not listen. Or if they listened, they did not process it. It was only after they watched the Lord pray – seriously and frequently pray – that they came to Jesus thirsty to learn about prayer. Jesus said “Blessed are those who HUNGER and THIRST for righteousness, for THEY WILL BE FILLED” (Matthew 5:6). God will not attempt to fill a full vessel.

You must come thirsty to God to be taught of God

The reason we have few regular worshipers in the Church – particularly during “Prayer Meeting and Bible Study” on Wednesday night – is because people have slaked their thirst with other temporal things. Eventually, though, life will send a misery your way. Thank God for the miseries, for they lead us to hunger for God’s presence. The disciples had been watching Jesus – the Son of God – very God of Very God – and saw that He had a habit of prayer. This made the disciples hunger and thirst for righteousness. We read:

Luke 11:1-4 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when {Jesus} ceased {praying}, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. 2 And {Jesus} 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.

Perpetual Prayer along with a Regular Reading & Research
of God’s Word empower the Christian!

Our prayer is to be according to the pattern that Jesus Christ twice gave us. Whenever there is something tragic that happens – a shooting at a school or in an inner city, death from hurricane or tornado, the death of a loved one, or the diagnosis of a disease that cannot be cured, people in the south and on the news will often say:

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

Most everybody in the world prays. Buddhists pray. Hindus pray. The Dalai Lama prays. Non-Christians of every type pray. Pagans pray. Satanists pray. Polytheists pray. Mormons pray. Jehovah Witnesses pray. Muslims pray. Are the prayers of the other world religions the same as the prayer of a Child of God? Absolutely not. What makes Christian prayer unique (other than the truth that our God is the ONLY true God) is …

Christian Prayer Is Distinctly Trinitarian

Graham Cole wrote in his article, “You Asked: Can I Pray To Jesus?”:

Christian praying is Trinitarian praying. This is deeply important, for much Christian praying in my experience is Unitarian: “Dear God. . . . Amen.” Unitarian praying makes it hard to see why there’s any real difference in praying to the God of the Bible as opposed to praying to the God of, say, the Qur’an. … Christian praying exhibits the very structure of the gospel. Jesus stands at the center as the Mediator, the Father as the Addressee, and the Spirit as the Enabler.”

As Christians we are under a direct command from Jesus to go and teach all nations … Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. So what has Jesus commanded us about prayer? Jesus said,

Luke 11:2 When ye pray, say, Our Father

Jesus Expects Us To Pray Like He Expects Us To Breathe

Word Study: Jesus starts with whenyou pray. This is the Greek Particle ὅταν hótan, {pronounced hot’-an}, which means “whenever, at the time”. As a Particle hótan assumes that YOU WILL PRAY. Jesus used this same particle to describe things that are going to occur, or things that you MUST do. For instance:

Blessed are ye, when {hótan} men shall revile you” (Matthew 5:11)
When {hótan} you give alms” (Matthew 6:2)
When {hótan} you fast” (Matthew 6:16)
When {hótan} they persecute you” (Matthew 10:23)

Jesus expected His followers to be hated, persecuted. He expects us to be generous to the poor, and to fast. Jesus also expects us to pray. Prayer for a Christian is not optional – it is commanded. Prayer is how we communicate to our God. Prayer draws God close to us.

If we would pray more, we would fear less.
If we would pray more, we would worry less.

Illustrate: Too often – like the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) – we wander away from the Father’s House to dwell in the land of the lost. While in that horrid land we find ourselves eating the swill of the hogs. We snack on rotted pieces of worry, on moldy chunks of fear, on the drippings of self pity and anxiety. Oh that we would COME TO OUR SENSES like the Prodigal did (Luke 15:17) and head back to the Father’s House!

Troubles and trials to come to us all. The Apostle Paul was abandoned by his good friend Demas (Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:10). Paul was attacked by Alexander the coppersmith (2 Timothy 4:14-15), doing his best to slander and destroy his ministry. At the lowest point of his ministry Paul said “At my first defense, no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me” (2 Timothy 4:16). And yet Paul never gave up. He never let worry and fear drag him down, but focused upon God Who loves him, and gave Himself for him.

Prayer Speaks Light Into The Darkness

We must pray. When we pray, our prayers should be clear, coherent, and vocal. We read:

Luke 11:2 When ye pray, say, Our Father

Word Study: It is assumed that we will pray, for we are commanded to pray. Further, our prayers are to be SAID. This is the Greek λέγω légō, {pronounced leg’-o}, which means “to speak with meaning”. Our prayers are to be intelligent words spoken to the Intelligent God. You say, “But why must I speak out loud, if I am by myself?” Because it is what God tells us to do. We are to carry on a conversation with God as if He is in the room with us. But guess what? He is! God is always with us. Jesus is always with us. So we carry on a conversation with our God.

Our prayers are not to be mantras or guttural sounds like many followers of Eastern religions will practice. Our prayers are a conversation with the God Whom we love. Who is this God we address? Jesus said:

Luke 11:2 When ye pray, say, Our Father

Jesus modeled praying to God as Father repeatedly as some
165 times in the four Gospels” (Mark Driscoll)

Jesus had us use a familiar an intimate term for the Head of the Trinity. We call Him Father. The word “Father” denotes God as the Source of Life as well as the Head of the Kingdom of God. Very rarely in the Old Testament do we see God referred to as “Father”. Two cases I can think of are in:

Isaiah 63:16 (ESV) For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O Lord, are our Father,

and Isaiah 64:8 (ESV) But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

When God was referred to as “Father” in the Old Testament, it was generally expressive of God’s relationship to the nation Israel, or to Judah once Northern Israel departed from the confederation. The Gospel Coalition article “God As Father” notes:

God is addressed as Father, not because he is Israel’s Creator, but because He is its Redeemer, which reveals the nature of the special relationship that God has with his chosen people.”

God as Father to an individual is rare in the Old Testament.

Under the Old Covenant, people could not be “born again” of the Spirit because Christ had not yet come. So God generally called ISRAEL the nation to be His “son”. We see this in Exodus 4:22-23 where God calls the nation Israel “My firstborn son”. There are several other Scriptures where God treats Israel as His son. See Deuteronomy 1:31; 8:5; 14:1; 32:6; Jeremiah 3:4, 14, 19, 22; 31:9, 20; Hosea 11:1-4; Malachi 1:6; 2:10; 3:17. It is only under the New Covenant that Jesus brought that we as individuals can – through faith in Christ – be individually recognized as “sons of God”. This was prophesied in the Davidic Covenant where God promised David a special offspring:

I will be his Father and He will be my son”
(2 Samuel 7:14; 1 Chronicles 17:13)

The promise referred to the Messiah Who would one day come to occupy David’s Throne forever. Solomon – David’s son and successor only reigned 40 years. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant (see Hebrews 1:1-12).

Because Of Jesus, God Is “Our Father”

Luke 11:2 When ye pray, say, Our Father

When Jesus came, He introduced God as not just the Father of Israel, but the Father of each and every believer IN HIM. He said we are to address God as “OUR Father”. Jesus is part of that “Our”. When Mary Magdalene met the resurrected Jesus at the empty Tomb, she tried to cling to Him. Jesus told her:

John 20:17 (ESV) … “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

When we pray, we are to pray to “Our Father”, meaning “My Father and Jesus’ Father”. Jesus said,

No one has seen the Father except He Who is FROM God ; He has seen the Father (John 6:46) … whoever has seen ME has seen the Father … (John 14:9)

Only Jesus has seen the Father, as He is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father (see Colossians 2:9; John 10:30; Isaiah 8:13-14 c/w 1 Peter 2:7-8; John 8:58). When we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we become children of adoption:

Ephesians 1:5 (ESV) {God} predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will …

Romans 8:15 (ESV) For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!

Galatians 4:4-7 (ESV) … when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

The followers of the other religions found in this world don’t suggest that their adherents be anything other than a follower or supplicant. But for the Christian, we are adopted as sons of God because we have received THE Son of God as our Lord and Savior.

The First Purpose Of Prayer Is To Bring Glory To The Father

Luke 11:2 Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

What is the first purpose of prayer? It is to bring honor and glory to our Heavenly Father. I have heard people pray,

Jesus, our Father, thank You for giving us life. Thank You for saving our souls.”

But this is not what Jesus told us to do when we pray. Are there times when we should speak directly to Jesus in prayer? I think so. There are times when we – realizing the great price Jesus paid for us on the Cross – that we want to thank Jesus for that great salvation. I do not believe this is in error. Jesus said in:

John 5:20-24 (ESV) … For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

We should honor Jesus as we honor the Father, for it is the Blood of Jesus Christ that covers our sins. It is the teachings of Christ that we carry out into the world. Jesus Christ has given us access to the Father, and has, through His Blood, made it possible for the Holy Spirit to cause us to be “born again” and adopted into the Family of God. But we need to be careful not to make Jesus out to be the Father. Jesus did as the Father directed, and Jesus and the Father are “one” in purpose (John 10:30; 17:22). When Jesus prayed, and taught us to pray, our prayers are to be primarily addressed to:

Luke 11:2 Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Our Father is in Heaven.
The Son is our High Priest and Sacrifice for sin.
The Spirit is with us, empowering us.

  • Is it wrong to pray to Jesus? I don’t think so. There are times when we should properly pray to Jesus. When Stephen was being martyred for our faith, he prayed Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59). When Saul was knocked down on Damascus Road, he prayed to Jesus, asking Lord, what will You have me do?” (Acts 9:6). John the Revelator on seeing Heaven unveiled prayed for Jesus’ return, saying “Amen. Come quickly, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20). There’s nothing wrong with praying to Jesus at times. However, most prayers should be addressed to the the Father.
  • Is it wrong to pray to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit of God is with the people of God, on this earth. He indwells us. We are told in Romans 8:9 (ESV), “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. The Father is in Heaven. The Holy Spirit occupies the body of the believer. As the Scripture says:

2 Corinthians 6:16 … ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1 Corinthians 6:19 … your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God…

I do not believe that it is wrong to pray to the Holy Spirit. After all, He is the One who empowers our prayers. When I am studying Scripture I often ask the Holy Spirit to open my eyes to His truths. When I don’t know what to pray, I ask the Spirit to guide my prayers. Yet we always remember that prayer is to be primarily toward God the Father. The Apostle Paul said,

Ephesians 3:14 …For this reason I bow my knees BEFORE THE FATHER

I like to think of it this way. My prayers are:

Primarily TO the Father,
THROUGH my High Priest, the Lord Jesus,
EMPOWERED by the Holy Spirit.

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.

We pray that God will expand His Heavenly Kingdom into an earthly Kingdom. It is the will of God that Heaven would come to us. Jesus said:

Mark 3:35 (ESV) … whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.

What is the Will of God? It is that people would come to Jesus by faith, and rely upon Him for their salvation. It is the Will of God that Christ’s words be taught this present world. It is the will of God that we love one another as we would be loved. It is the will of God that we love God above all else and all other.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 (ESV) For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality …

It is God’s will that we neither endorse nor participate in the sexual immorality that grips our nation and the world. We are not to approve love making outside of that which God has determined is proper marriage.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 … give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

It is God’s will that we be thankful for all that He allows to enter our lives. We are to realize that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord, to those who are called according to HIS purpose” (Romans 8:28). If we pray,

Luke 2:2 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done,
as in heaven, so in earth

If you are sick, trust God in the sickness. If you are well, trust God in the wellness. Pray that God’s will will be done through you and your life. God has promised us:

1 John 2:17 (ESV) … the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

We may not understand what we are going through, but we don’t have to. Let us understand that God’s will will be done – and God loves us unconditionally. Let us live for the Lord. Don’t focus on the trial or the suffering, but focus on doing the good that God expects of you:

1 Peter 2:15 (ESV) For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

The Second Purpose Of Prayer Is To Meet Our Needs

Luke 11:3-4 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.

After asking God that His will be done here on earth as it is done in Heaven, we begin to pray for our needs. We pray for our daily bread, that God would feed us and house us. When we pray that God meet our physical needs, we lessen our anxiety and worry while “casting all our care upon Him, for He cares for us”(1 Peter 5:7). Jesus warned His children to NOT be like the lost of this world. He said:

Matthew 6:8 (ESV) Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

God the Father did not spare His own Son, but gave Jesus up for us all. Will He not now supply our temporal needs? (Romans 8:32). Yes, He will. Be thankful, and ask God to provide for your physical needs. We also pray:

Luke 11:4 forgive us our sins, for we also forgive
every one that is indebted to us.

We cannot grudge carry and be effective Christians. We must forgive others who have offended us, knowing that our God freely forgives us when we go astray. Finally,

Luke 11:4 lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil

We acknowledge our weaknesses before God. It is not we who save ourselves, but God Who saves us and keeps on saving us. We ask God to deliver us from the evil and darkness of this present age. We as believers do not give up. We pray. We seek God’s presence. We seek God’s Kingdom. We seek God’s power.

Oh, that God would lead His people to be a people of prayer. This is the only hope we have against the darkness. May God draw you into a deeper, more intimate prayer life with Him. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen and Amen.

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!
This entry was posted in Luke, prayer, Praying Like Jesus Series, Sermons Preached and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Jesus Teaches Us To Pray

  1. Pingback: Jesus Teaches Us To Pray — – Creative Exiles

Comments are closed.