One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’” Luke 11:1-4 (See also Matthew 6:5-13)
When we want to learn how to do something, we often grab our iPhone and say “Hey Siri . . .”
After a few short minutes of studying a video on YouTube; we have learned a new skill.
Jesus’ disciples watched people praying in public, saw John the Baptist teach his followers to pray, observed Jesus’ prayer habits, and wanted to know how Jesus would teach them to pray. And, Jesus wanted to teach his disciples how to pray.
It comes up in two different accounts of Jesus’ life – from Matthew and from Luke. In Matthew, Jesus teaches his followers how to pray in the midst of a massive teaching that turned their understanding of life upside down (aka The Sermon on the Mount). In Luke, a disciple directly asks Jesus to teach them to pray. It’s important to pay attention to Jesus’ response. Today, we know this as “The Lord’s Prayer.” There’s so much that can be learned in “The Lord’s Prayer” – take some time to dig into books about it or listen to a sermon about it – but there is also great value in simply looking at the way Jesus teaches us to begin praying.
“Our Father in heaven.” These four words remind us who we are – sons and daughters of the Father. We are praying to the God who created everything by his Spirit, sent his Son, Jesus, and sits on the throne in heaven, as our Father, in control of everything. As a beloved child of this all-knowing, all-powerful, always-present God, you have permission to be open and honest in conversation with Him. The next four words Jesus gives sound funny to us: “Hallowed be your name.” We rarely say “hallowed” but another way to say it is to simply say “holy be your name.” To pray “holy be your name” acknowledges that we are setting apart God’s name because we are aware of how different we are from him. We are God’s precious creation. But we are different, and when we acknowledge our sin, we quickly see how we differ from Him. His name is holy because he is our perfect Creator, Savior, Protector, Father God.
- When you want to learn something new, what is the first thing you do?
- Who is someone that has taught you a thing or two about prayer?
- How do you begin conversation with God? Do you talk to Jesus? Do you talk to the Holy Spirit? Do you talk to our Father?
By Tim Herset | Kalispell, MT