Jesus Teaches His Disciples About Prayer in The Lord’s Prayer
Jesus teaches his disciples about prayer in Luke 11. There are many other Bible verses and teachings on prayer, but this is a very good place to start when you want to learn to pray. Pray the way God wants you to pray.
The Lord’s prayer teaches us how we ought to pray and live. We ought to pray and live for God’s glory, and be focused on building His eternal kingdom.
Let’s look into this very important teaching of Jesus. Jesus gave the Lord’s Prayer as an example of how we ought to pray, and live.
Luke 11:1-4 : The Lord’s Prayer
It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” 2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. 3 ‘Give us each day our daily bread. 4 ‘And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
When Jesus prayed things happened. Many times extraordinary supernatural things. And his disciples noticed this right away, so they wanted to learn how to pray like Jesus. They wanted to see these same things happen when they prayed.
That is why in Luke 11:1 Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. Seeing Jesus pray and seeing the results He got led the disciples to have a teachable heart. It is always good for us to have a soft, humble, and teachable heart.
Jesus Teaches Us How To Pray In The Lord’s Prayer
A Close Relationship With God Is the Key to Prayer
Jesus begins to teach about how to pray in Luke 11:2 – “And He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.”
The first things Jesus mentions is to say Father. The word that Jesus uses for Father is “Abba”. This is a term of endearment that signifies a close & intimate relationship between a father and his child. Abba also signifies the total trust that a child puts into his/her loving father.
Many people have a hard time with their relationship with God. They cannot see God and thus have a hard time realizing that it is possible to have an intimate relationship of love with God the Father. Also, some people have had a bad relationship with their earthly father, and it is hard for them to see God the Father as someone who wants to have an intimate personal relationship. And it is hard for them to place child-like faith and trust in their Father.
Jesus is telling us that we can have a close personal relationship of love and total trust with God the Father. One of the steps to have this is to accept God’s unconditional, ever-lasting love for you. And to trust that what Jesus is saying about our Abba Father is true. We can have the type of intimate relationship and fellowship with Abba that Jesus had. A close love relationship & fellowship with God and a child-like trust of God is they key to having a powerful and effective prayer life.
Continuing the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11:2
Luke 11:2 – “And He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.”
After saying “Abba Father” Jesus instructs his disciples to say “Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.” These words instruct us on how we ought to pray, and live. We ought to always pray and live our lives with one goal in mind. To pray and live so that God’s name is greatly revered and honored. We need to set our hearts on living so that all we do and say brings great glory and honor and reverence to God.
Anther thing Jesus mentions in verse 2 is “Your kingdom come.” First Jesus says “hallowed be Your name” and then “Your kingdom come.” Jesus is teaching us that we always ought to be focused on building God’s kingdom by doing the work & mission that Jesus gives us in His word. The Great Commandment and Great Commission of sharing the Gospel with others, and making disciples. Our hearts and minds need to ever be focused on God’s kingdom.
This also signifies that we always need to be ready for Jesus return, when He will come to establish His eternal kingdom and reign.
God Wants to Provide Our Needs
Jesus continues the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11:3 – ” Give us each day our daily bread”. God loves His children very much, and He wants to provide our daily needs. He promises to do so in His word. So why does Jesus tell us that we should ask God to provide our “daily bread” ? First, Jesus is saying that we need to humble ourselves and acknowledge our need for God. Many people in today’s world don’t want to be dependent on anyone, including God.
Jesus is also teaching us that God cares for us, and He wants to be involved in our lives and in meeting our needs. Not just our physical needs, but our emotional and personal and spiritual needs also. Jesus is encouraging us to take our needs and problems to our loving Abba Father, and to depend and trust in Him. And when God answers our prayers He shows us all about His faithfulness and His love. We experience His faithfulness and His goodness and love first hand, and this is always better than simply reading about it in the Bible.
Another part of this is that by saying “daily bread” Jesus is teaching us to not ask God for an abundance of riches and things. We need to trust that God knows what is best for us. Sometimes an over abundance of material things is not good for us spiritually. Material things tend to pull us away from God and from depending on Him. And success and an over abundance of material things tends to cause us to not be humble, and to not be focused on living for God’s glory and His kingdom.
We Must Forgive Others to Have A Close Relationship With God
Jesus continues His teaching on prayer in Luke 11:4 – “ ‘And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.”
In order to have a restored relationship with God and salvation, we need to confess our sins and then receive forgiveness from God for them. Then to maintain our growing fellowship with God, because we are sinners, we need to continue to confess to God when we sin. 1 John 1:9 is a great promise from God about this:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Jesus is teaching us that in order to maintain our close fellowship with God, we must forgive others when they “sin” against us. Whenever someone hurts or offends us, or does something to harm us, or does anything we do not like, we need to forgive them. If we do not forgive them, then we cannot receive forgiveness from God for our sins. And this leads to a broken fellowship with God. Forgiving others is vital to having intimacy with God, and to having a powerful and effective prayer life. And to being a person that God can use to bring glory to His name and to build His kingdom.
Lead Us Not Into Temptation
The Lord’s Prayer ends in Luke 11:4 with “And lead us not into temptation.” The version of the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6 continues with “but deliver us from the evil one.” Is Jesus implying that we need to literally ask God not to lead us into temptation ? Would God ever lead people into temptation ?
The book of James has the answer to that. James 1: 13-14 says, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.”
James has more good advice about temptation and sin in James 4:7. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
So what is Jesus saying when he says “lead us not into temptation” ? We need to understand that we are unable to resist temptation without God’s grace. We are called to trust the Lord (not ourselves) for strength to resist temptation before it becomes sin. It is not the temptation itself that leads us to sin, but the lack of resistance and trust in the Lord for deliverance. Jesus is saying to submit to God daily, and to depend on God and pray for strength to resist giving in to the temptations you will face. Anyone who thinks that they do not need God’s help and strength to resist temptation & sin will surely fall.
In the next article we will look further into the teachings of Jesus on prayer in Luke 11.
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