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The Lord's Prayer

Monday: Lord, Teach Us to Pray


Introduction

We are so glad you are joining us for these daily prayer posts. Throughout these weeks we have been listening to the prayers of the Bible and learning from them how to pray. This week we turn our attention to the model prayer Jesus gave His disciples when they asked him, "Lord, teach us to pray." (Luke 11:1)

Each devotion will take five to seven minutes of your time.

  1. We will look at an insight from those who know something important about prayer.
  2. We will listen to Jesus as He prays "The Lord's Prayer."
  3. We will reflect, asking the same four questions each day that invites us to look and listen with intent.
  4. And we will pray, for it is in praying that we learn to pray. And it is in praying that the Spirit changes our hearts.

May we encourage you to grab a notebook, a journal, something to write on as you do each prayer guide. Yes, it will add a few minutes to the time it takes to do the devotion, and it will also deepen your experience and shape your walk with God for years to come.

Look

While Einstein’s theory of relativity may one day put Earth on the intergalactic map, it will always run a distant second to the Lord’s Prayer, whose harnessing of energies in their proper, life-giving direction surpasses even the discovery of fire.

Kurt Vonnegut 

Listen

Most of us don't think we're "good" at prayer—especially praying out loud. We feel awkward and self-conscious, often focusing on what other people are thinking about our prayer more than on the One to whom our prayer is directed. Now imagine what it would have been like to hear Jesus pray—the Son of God fully present in intimate conversation with the Father, whom He had been united with since before Creation.

It's no wonder that one of His disciples, after hearing Jesus pray, said, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). It's the only record we have of the disciples asking Jesus to teach them something. What came out of Jesus' mouth next is the most well-known prayer in history. We call it "The Lord's Prayer," but it might be better titled "The Disciples' Prayer," because it was given to them. It is a model prayer that taught them how to pray; and it is given to us also for the same purpose. Each day this week we will examine the prayer together, learning from it how to pray; and we will allow Jesus to shape our own prayers through it.

Matthew 6:9-13

Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.
*For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen

Reflect

  1. Having read the Word, sit silently for a minute and give God’s Word a moment to settle within you.
  2. Re-read the verses slowly and write down some thoughts that resonate with you.
  3. Ask the Spirit to help you see the deeper longings, desires or motives in your heart that those thoughts are pointing to. (for example: you may write down, “The main idea of the prayer seems to be 'God's will be done.'" The Spirit can help you consider how this idea might shape or influence your own desires.)
  4. What do you think Jesus wanted His disciples to learn about prayer from these words?

Pray

Let's pray "The Lord's Prayer" today. Because this prayer is so familiar to many, it's easy to say the words without actually thinking about them. To help with that, consider using a translation you are less familiar with (New Living Translation is included below). Think about the meaning of each line as you pray it, and make Jesus' prayer your own prayer today.

9Our Father in heaven, 
may your name be kept holy. 
10 May your Kingdom come soon. 
May your will be done on earth, 
as it is in heaven. 
11 Give us today the food we need, 
12 and forgive us our sins, 
as we have forgiven those who sin against us. 
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation, 
but rescue us from the evil one. 
*For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

*Some of the earliest manuscripts do not contain this line

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