If there’s one Person on the planet I’d want to learn prayer from, it’s Jesus! In this model prayer recorded in Luke 11 (also see Matthew 6: 9-13), Jesus doesn’t teach His disciples HOW to pray, He teaches them TO pray:
“…one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’” (Luke 11:1b-4, NKJV).
The Powerful Practice of Persistent Prayer
Through what we now know as “The Lord’s Prayer,” Jesus modeled the practice of prayer. He demonstrated to His disciples– and to us– that with much prayer, we, too, could experience much Holy Spirit with much power: such as signs, wonders, and miracles, as we see in full demonstration in the early chapters of the Book of Acts.
But Jesus also showed us how we could learn to pray in secret so that we could stay in peace in any crisis. All the time. Or how we could return through prayer to God and get re-calibrated, re-booted, and re-set into God’s Kingdom; where He would generously gird and lift us back into unity in Him, time and time again.
We don’t read this Book to do it. We pray it and become it!
Jesus gave us the path to prayer in His Word so that righteousness, peace and joy could flood our hearts (see Romans 14:17b), and radical shifts could take place through unassuming people like you and like me! He highlighted how we could become so confident in praying, as we daily presented ourselves to the Lord, that we could sleep on the night of our execution, like Peter did.
Did you know: Prayer is the only thing that will never diminish over time? Whereas in our natural lives, we grow older and lose human strength or resource, prayer has the potential to keep growing stronger, better, and more fruitful with time and simple practice! As we learn from Jesus TO pray, we don’t need to get stuck in regret, go back or start over. Let’s simply start from NOW. We can take “The Lord’s Prayer” and let it change us…
- First, we must “Talk out loud”. Jesus said in Luke 11:2, “When you pray, SAY …”
- “Our Father…” Magnify the name of God. Praise Him out loud! Let’s find adjectives to describe Him and express our love for Him. As we praise, things shift. Our minds get quiet.
- “Your Kingdom come; Your will be done…” Surrender to Him. Completely. This is where we can let go of our responsibilities, our “kingdoms” and our wills; and in exchange, receive His Kingdom and His In the Kingdom of God, surrender equals freedom!
- “Give us this day…” –After praising, magnifying and surrendering to Him, THEN we can ask for provision, healing, deliverance, whatever we need. We need our daily portion of Jesus. He knows this!
- “Forgive us our debts…” Forgive everyone of everything. We ask Him to forgive us, as we would forgive our WORST enemies. Forgiveness unlocks forgiveness to us, too. Remember, forgiveness is not a moral issue, it’s a control issue.
- “Lead us not into temptation…” This is like saying, “Help me, God!” We need to be honest and humble that we need His intervention.
- “For thine is the Kingdom…” Magnify, praise, and thank Him again.
As we practice this path of prayer more and more, His Kingdom comes! Yes! Like in Roman 14:17, we begin to experience His righteousness: with no shame of yesterday, and no regrets. Righteousness is, simply put: Everything is ALL RIGHT, even when circumstances on the outside might not “feel” all right. We also experience His shalom peace, where a sense of safety and calm supersedes any outside threats. And we begin to sense Jesus’ joy, because He keeps girding us up into the Truth of who He is… and we cheer up!
Jesus, YOUR Kingdom come…
In the days and months ahead, may we press into much prayer like Jesus modeled. As in the Book of Acts, or even as with Daniel, who was so accustomed to praying that the Word says his faith and believing left him unharmed and uninjured (see Daniel 6:23), so may we experience much Holy Spirit, much power, and much “Jesus,” who is our righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit!