Thus far, Jesus has called twelve men to serve as His disciples and has cultivated a significant following. “They wanted to learn everything they could from Jesus. ‘Teach us to pray,’ they said to Jesus. Out of all the things Jesus did, they thought this was the most important.”
Martin Luther also recognized the importance of prayer. He said, “I have so much to do that I shall have to spend the first three hours in prayer.” Is the amount of time you spend in prayer a good indicator of its value to you?
Jesus said, “Find a place where you can be alone. Then you will think only about God.” Jesus not only taught His disciples to retreat to a place where there would be no distractions, He modeled that behavior by rising early and going to “a lonely place.” During your prayer time, is your cell phone on mute? Do you have “a lonely place” where you can go to enjoy communion with God? Can you minimize distractions at your times for prayer?
Jesus also said, “Give us today our daily bread.” In this petition of the prayer, Jesus is calling us to trust God to provide. Jesus wants us to pray for “all” that we need for the day, not just food, but food is high on our hierarchy of needs.
Jesus also said, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” We learn that if we expect God to forgive us then we need to imitate God’s nature to forgive those who have hurt us. No one said that this would be easy for us to do, but by God’s grace it is possible for us to do so.
The Lord’s Prayer is a wonderful prayer to incorporate into one’s daily devotional life. It is also a great prayer to serve as a pattern for our prayers. To avoid the prayer becoming less beneficial … take your time praying it … pausing to reflect on the petitions. Singing The Lord’s Prayer is another way you may experience its beauty and power.
Dear Jesus, thank You for teaching us how to pray. Guard us from rushing through The Lord’s Prayer and help us to learn to appreciate it as a prayer and as a model for our prayers, In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.