Daily D – Luke 11:1
Luke 11:1 Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (NLT)
When and how a person prays declares his or her worldview.
There was something about the way Jesus prayed that captured the hearts and minds of his followers. There was depth they had never plumbed. There were heights they had never climbed. There was breadth they could not traverse. There was more, so much more than they had experienced.
There was a level of communion with God the Father and the empowering of the Holy Spirit they had not anticipated, expected, or imagined.
Take a look at all the half dozen or so prayer events of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel to this point. Give attention to what was happening when he prayed and what happened next.
Jesus’ disciples noticed the power in Jesus’ prayers. Today, we often hear people say, “Prayer is powerful.” This is halfway true. It is more accurate to say, “God powerfully responds when his people pray.” Prayer in Jesus’ name is prayer offered to the glory of God, trust in his responsive heart, and obedience to what he says. Prayer in Jesus’ name is consistent with his character and mission. Prayer in Jesus’ name is less about us and more about the Kingdom of God.
This is the kind of power we discover when we learn to pray like Jesus.
Prayer not only turns our eyes upon Jesus, but it turns our eyes upon others to see them as Jesus sees them. It moves our hearts to act with compassion and kindness as Jesus does. It desires for every person what our Father in heaven wants for them. What he wants for each person is better than any one of them could want for himself or herself.
At the root of the disciples’ request lies a longing for the kind of communion Jesus had with the Father and the Spirit. That communion was the differentiator. Jesus knew the heart and mind of God the Father. Jesus lived in the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Jesus overflowed with joy because of this prayerful lifestyle.
John 14-16 collects Jesus’ most gracious thoughts on prayer and communion with the Father and the Spirit as he knew and practiced it. He tells us how to live a life of prayer in deepest communion with our Father in Heaven and in the results of the Spirit’s empowering presence.
When we join those first disciples in saying, “Lord, teach us to pray,” we join them in building a better world to the glory of God, the blessing of all people, in the power of his presence.
I will enroll in Jesus’ school of prayer.
Our Father, teach me to pray. Lead me into ever-deeper communion with you. Empower me to see as you see. Deploy me as a channel of your grace and mercy. Overflow my life with compassion and joy. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”