Lord, Teach Us to Pray – Part 2
The Lord’s Prayer – Luke 11:1-13
Crosspoint – Dave Spooner – May 1st, 2022
- This morning we are continuing our series on prayer. My aim is to equip, instruct, and motivate you to pray from the passage where Jesus taught us to pray. You may think we are heading over to Matthew 6, where the longer version of the “Lord’s Prayer” is recorded. However, we are going to spend our time in the second teaching on prayer from Luke chapter 11. From this chapter, we are going to gain some important insights from the teaching of Jesus on prayer that will help you in your prayers. The first thing I want to note is this:
Luke 11:1 NIV
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.”
- Did it ever strike you that Jesus prayed? The gospels record Him praying on many occasions. Why did Jesus pray? If you think that there was anyone who did not need to pray, it would have been Jesus. You would think that He could clearly handle things on His own. Or is it that He could handle things because He was not on His own. If Jesus needed to pray, we all the more need to pray.
- Prayer is the only thing we have recorded in the Bible that the disciples asked Jesus to teach them. Now you can think about all the things they could have asked Him to teach them. How to heal people, how to speak well, how to understand the Bible, how to win friends and influence people. How to build the church, lead a family, etc.
- I think they understood that the answer to all their questions was contained in the one question, “how should we pray,” because, in answer to this question, all the other questions would be answered through prayer.
- They saw Jesus pray, time and time and time again, and I think they understood from watching and hearing Him that prayer was a priority of Jesus and the place from which His ministry and life flowed.
Jesus taught us how to pray
Luke 11:2-4 NIV
He said to them, “When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”
- This version is not the one you were taught to memorize, but it does contain the “guts” of how Jesus taught us to pray:
- “when you pray” – it is expected that Christians pray. If you are a Christian, you will pray; prayer is a mark of a Christian.
- “Father” – we have a relationship with God as Father, not a god who is far off, or a god who is unknown. We are to pray to God as Father – one who we have special access to, one who we can go to, and one who we have a connection with as His children. Jesus addressed God as “Father” in all His prayers, minus one (Matt. 24:48, Mark 15:340). We have a special privilege to call Him “Father” because we are His children. Treat Him like this because He asks us to call Him “Father.”
- “hollowed be your name” – may your name be seen and respected as “holy,” may you be glorified and revered – in my life and in the world. This is the place to praise Him for who He is, remember what He has done, thank and praise him for His attributes, and remind yourself about His goodness and who you are talking to. This is a blessed thing that pleases God and helps us.
- “your kingdom come” – asking that the kingdom of God would be present, active and moving in our world, and that we would anticipate the final fulfillment of this prayer in the coming of the kingdom in its fullness. We are praying for His will to be done, His good, pleasing, and perfect will to be accomplished in our lives, through our lives, and in the world.
- “Give us each day our daily bread” – this is where we ask for our needs to be met on this day. This is the place where we usually “camp out” when it comes to prayer. The term “daily bread” comes from the imagery of the Israelites in the desert who received the manna from heaven. God provided enough for them for each day, and they were to turn and depend upon Him for what they needed. This is a daily prayer, and I think it makes sense to pray this in the morning before we jump into our day. (This is the most productive time of day for me to pray before the “day” begins.)
- “Forgive us our sins” – this is the place for us to pray in self-reflection, knowing that we fail and knowing that we need to be in right relationship with God. This is a place that most of us skip, and it is an important place and way for us to pray. Being in a good relationship with God is where you want to live because there is peace and joy and presence in this place.
- “for we also forgive everyone who sins against us” – this is another area we also forget. We typically want to harbor places where others have sinned against us. God instructs us to forgive everyone who sins against us. This is putting our hearts in places to be able to be in right relationship with others so that we don’t become hard against them. Walking in peace with others is a very happy and healthy place to live, and it is a mindset that comes through prayer.
- “And lead us not into temptation” – this is not praying that God doesn’t lead us to be tempted (James 1:13). This is a prayer that we will not give in to temptation when it comes to us this day (and it will).
- What would your life be like if you and I prayed this way? You bet it would be better. This pattern for prayer hits all the major areas that we need to be praying for. It is important for us to practice prayer like this. You don’t need any other pattern or book. Don’t over-complicate things. This pattern is all you need to be effective in prayer. Try it. I know that all prayer does not follow this pattern, but this is the pattern we are to follow in our personal prayers.
- The next principle is what I call “pass-through” prayers, where we pray for others.
The pass-through principle
Luke 11:5-8 NIV
Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
- Jesus told this story to demonstrate and explain a principle of prayer. This is a pray for others. You have a friend who comes to you with a need. You don’t have what your friend needs, so you go to another friend to ask for something for your friend. It is one friend connecting to another friend for help. This is being a “go-between” and an “intercessor,” calling on one on behalf of another.
- This is asking God to give to us so that we can give to others. This is us calling to God for help for others. Because we are “friends” of God and we have other friends, we go to Him for help for them.
- I will do this in a “shameless, audacious” way for the sake of others. For example, I will be “shameless” to ask for help for my family, whereas I would not do so on my own account. I will be bold for their sake (like asking my friends and family for help for my kids). I have more courage to be bold and shameless for the benefit of others. Jesus taught us to do this.
- Pray that God would provide for us so that others would be provided for. Ask for the sake of others. It is a bold thing, a right thing, and a request that God honors. This is being a “conduit,” a “pass-through” person who God gives to give to others.
- These next verses are given in connection to this type of prayer; a promise of provision is given. Don’t take these verses out of context, and understand they are connected to the shameless prayer for the sake of others.
The promise of provision
Luke 11:9-10 NIV
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
- This is ask, and keep on asking. Seek and keep on seeking. Knock and keep on knocking. There is a promise of provision for this. Of course, this is for the needs of another person. Do you love them? Do you turn to God for help? One friend asking on behalf of another friend.
Whether we like it or not, asking is a rule of the kingdom. – Charles Spurgeon
- This is how God chooses to work, so be bold, be persistent, be shameless. This is what love does. We will do that with others, and God is even better than any “father” you know on earth.
Luke 11:11-13 NIV
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
- When you ask God for something, He is not going to give you something else that will hurt or harm you. He is not like that. Good fathers are not like that, and we are evil (in comparison to Him). He is a good Father, and he will give us what is good with the best thing that He has given: the Holy Spirit and His power and provision.
Conclusion and Communion
- Jesus prayed, lived in the fruit of it, and taught us to pray as well. It is a privilege we, as believers, have. There is power through prayer because we pray to a powerful Father. Who loves us, listens to us, interacts with this world, and is involved. Press in and pray. Make it a priority. Intentional and consistent. You will change through prayer, and the world will change through prayer. We have this power. Let us use it together and see God in powerful and practical ways work in our world.