Discipleship: The Prayer

Check out Luke 11:1-4

What is prayer? How do you pray? Are there right and wrong ways to pray? Are there good and bad ways to pray? Has the thought ever occurred to you to ask Jesus how to pray?

To be disciples we must share the prayer of Jesus and make prayer a lifestyle.

In Luke 11, one of the disciples has exactly that idea: “Lord, teach us to pray.” I wonder how long these guys have been following Jesus and now finally one of them gets this bright idea. This isn’t the beginning of their time with Jesus.

In the ancient world, if you’re a disciple, and you want to show the world who your rabbi is, there were no t-shirt stands or merch tables. Rabbis gave a particular prayer to their students as an identity marker. Jesus isn’t so much giving his disciples a pattern or blueprint for prayer. He’s giving them a word-for-word scripted prayer that marks them as his followers.

To be disciples we must share the prayer of Jesus and make prayer a lifestyle.

We all want to pray in a way that actually does something, that actually changes the world and changes us. Nobody wants to waste their time praying.

Here’s some thoughts about praying in way that matters.

1) Prayer that matters has a right concept of God.

Notice how Jesus names God at the start of this prayer. How you name God matters. It reveals your concept and emphasis of God. To call him “Gracious God” is to name him a being of grace and mercy. To call him “Righteous King” is to name him a royal figure with sovereignty and authority. To call him “Almighty God” is to name him a being of supreme strength and power. To call him “Wise Judge” is to name him a moral figure.

Father. Dad. Daddy. Papa. Abba. This is the image of God that Jesus provides. In other words, when you think about God, think about this picture. Why do you think Father, of all names?

A father is relational. A father is personal. A father knows. A father cares. And I think most important of all, a father loves perfectly. Love is the defining quality of a father, and this is the context that Jesus is communicating. When you pray, you pray in the giving and receiving of love, just like a child and father. Pray like that.

Question: If prayer is such a big part of every world religion, what makes Christian prayer unique and different?



About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s