It is telling that having spent much time with the Lord Jesus that the disciples would ask Him to teach them to pray. What brought them to that point? Was it the sense of mere religious ceremony or formality required of good students? Or perhaps there was something else more poignant that drew their hearts to ask the question?
I like to believe that there was a recognition in the souls of these hard-working men that Jesus had something very special that they themselves didn’t possess. Perhaps it was the powerful signs & wonders that gave rise to the request, an envy for doing the same? Or was it the calm & wisdom that Jesus manifested in the midst of such a crazy ministry lifestyle? Or was it the self-assurance & authority that Jesus demonstrated through His teaching?
Every good & solid relationship is founded upon Intimacy, a calm knowing of another partnered with a calm of being known by another. In such a relationship there is no striving, no fear of rejection, no uneasiness of being alone and quiet with that Other. It is profoundly significant that Jesus’ prayer begins with “Our Father…” It is a phrase that stabs deep into men’s hearts, a phrase of profound communion and intimacy in two words. Jesus in just two words moves prayer from a religious discipline to be practiced by faithful disciples to the elevated heights of a child nestled in his father’s arms. And from that incredibly safe place the child, listening to and feeling the deep bass beat of his father’s heart, speaks words that can change history.
To describe prayer as powerful, influential, effectual, life changing, transformational, etc., still comes short of the depths and heights of that simple discussion. There are not enough words that I could write to describe what prayer does for (and to) me and my family. And from that place of soul hunger in me for my Father, I encourage you to also draw near to Him through prayer. Prayer of the sort that is much more than asking for your daily bread, but prayer punctuated and driven by the heart beat of God Himself for you, your family & friends, your community and your nation. Prayer needs to be honest, a removal of the walls of fear, hypocrisy and self-delusion and willingness to be known and to know. Beware! such prayer will do something to you and to those around you.
The prayer Jesus taught His friends was of one of unity (Our), of intimacy (Father), of proclamation (in Heaven), of spiritual jealousy (hallowed be Your name), of submission (Your Kingdom come, Your will be done), and of intercession (on earth as it is in Heaven).
Take the time to pray much, much more in your daily life. And if you have the time, join with us on Wednesdays at 7pm as we join together to pray for our church and our community. But whatever you do, draw near to Him where you are today.