Teach Us To Pray

Teach Us To Pray

11 January 2021

Jim Stephens

Reading: Genesis 27-28; Psalm 4; Luke 11

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1 NLT)

Jesus prayed. He prayed publicly. He prayed privately. He prayed often. His followers saw how important prayer was in Jesus’ life and asked him to teach them how to pray. He prayed. They watched. Then they asked for instruction in prayer.

Jesus gave them a simple pattern prayer and said, “Pray like this…” He said, “Start praying. And as you pray, keep it real and keep it simple.” Then he told a story to illustrate the importance of persistence in prayer. Then he gave some encouragement about God’s willingness to respond to earnest prayer.

Contrast that with the teachers of religious law…“You experts in religious law crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden. (Luke 11:46 NLT)

Everything that Jesus taught, he taught from the heart of God’s Law: “Love God with all your heart and love others as you love yourself.” He lived a life of love for God and others and taught simply and practically out of that life.

I want to teach the way Jesus taught. If I’m going to do that, my heart must progressively change from self-righteousness, self-interest, and self-preservation to Loving God and Loving Others. I must live my life heart-first, creating an example for others to see. Then, when and as they are interested in the why and how, I can talk about it, keeping it simple, honest, and full of hope and expectation.

Friends, whether we influence few or many, we influence some! Let’s live our lives heart-first so that those we influence will be nudged toward Jesus and his ways.


Father, Please let this lesson settle in and influence my thoughts, words, and actions every day. Help me to live my life heart-first, daily changing from a self-centered life to a life centered on you and the things you care most about. And when I prepare to speak publicly, and as I lead and mentor others, help me to keep it simple, honest, and full of hope. Amen.

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