Monday, August 26, 2013

10 Things Jesus Taught His Disciples About Prayer

Prayer. Christian bookstores are filled with books on how to pray. Inspirational stories stirs our soul in response to the beckoning call to prayer from the great prayer warriors of times past. These men and women of faith seem to possess something that is lost on today's society. Curiously enough we (including myself) have displayed with our actions that prayer is not needed and we are invincible.

In our last post I shared a statistic that the average Christian only prays about seven minutes a day. Do you realize that is only 0.49% of your entire day? Can we really follow Christ without spending time with Him? Of course not! That would be as absurd as driving a car off of a teaspoon of gas.

While Jesus was on this earth He discipled twelve men. He taught them how to live and how to pray. In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. Even the secular world recognizes it as "The Lord's Prayer". It surfaces in movie scenes when little kids kneel beside their beds or in scenes of crisis you hear the movie actors gravely quoting under their breath, "our Father who art in Heaven...".

As a speaker I've found that a room full of teenagers can mindless finish the Lord's prayer with little prodding from me. Could it be that we've dumbed down one of the greatest prayers ever recorded for mankind? 

The reality and depth of the Lord's prayer can never be fully explored and has yet to be fully explained. My last post examined the need for prayer so now I would like to explore the application of prayer using God's own words. The Lord's prayer has 10 distinct aspects. I will outline them in this post and then examine each aspect in detail over the next few weeks. In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus says, Pray like this...
  1. Our Father which art in heaven
  2. Hollowed be thy name
  3. Thy kingdom come 
  4. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven
  5. Give us this day our daily bread
  6. Forgive us our debts
  7. As we forgive our debtors
  8. And lead us not into temptation
  9. But deliver us from evil
  10. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever
Martin Luther said “A Christian has prayed abundantly who has rightly prayed the Lord’s Prayer.” He called it the “…model prayer of Christianity.” Other prayer should be suspected which do not have or comprise the content and meaning of this prayer.

J. I. Packer – This prayer is a pattern for all Christian praying. Jesus is teaching that prayer will be acceptable when, and only when, the attitudes, thoughts, and desires expressed fir the pattern, That is to say: every prayer of ours should be a praying of the Lord’s Prayer in some shape or form. We never get beyond this prayer; not only is it the Lord’s first lesson in praying, it is all the other lessons too.

The Lord's prayer is more important than you realize. I want to call each of you to join me over the next several weeks as we journey through the 10 things Jesus taught His disciples to pray. Questions? You can either email me or leave me a voicemail or text with my google number: 646-504-6263

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