The New Testament says that when Jesus had finished praying, his disciples, who as well trained Jews all prayed several times each day, came to him and begged “Lord teach us to pray”. If the request had stopped there I would be pointing out the differences they observed between the way they prayed and the way Jesus prayed, but the sentence continued .. “Teach us to pray as John (the Baptist that is) taught his followers.”
Now we have no information about John’s prayer-school methods – but this half sentence is enough to give us a powerful thought for the day. The disciples of Jesus wanted help in praying. They needed some further structure than they had already been given by their Jewish liturgy. Jesus responded with what is called ‘The Lord’s prayer’, but which should really be called ‘the Christian disciples’ prayer’. Yes, I know you know it by heart, but see it today as it was originally intended – to be a scaffold for prayer: a framework; a ready map to follow, not a spell to be rattled off. So today, go through the best known prayer in the world, and see the headings as the areas which Jesus calls us to enter in prayer. Put God’s agenda down and pray it. These are Paul’s words to Timothy: I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. I Timothy 2: 1-4
A Prayer: Lord, what a wondrous privilege it is that you, the Sovereign Lord of all, should call us to listen to you and speak with you. What a privilege is prayer.
Now read a little from Jesus’ prayer book, and pray it: Psalm 19.