Have you ever wonder what it must have been like to be in the presence of Jesus while He was praying? I have. If we look it up on google, or books that have those images as people envision them, we can see pictures of brightness coming from heaven and illuminating His face. Others show us angels surrounding Him and Heaven encompassing Him while He maintains a posture of looking up to Heaven as He stands or kneels.
I think those visionaries, have it right. Spiritually, it must have look like that but physically, it was not always exposed to others. If that was the case, would the apostles have fallen asleep during His prayer time? Remember when Jesus went up to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray prior to His capture? Jesus asked them to stay awake with Him and pray and they couldn’t.
We find this same attitude about prayer in other parts of scripture, as they had not learned this discipline. The only time the bible tell us that they saw Jesus in connection with Heaven prior to His resurrection was during the transfiguration, which we studied a few blogs back, and when He was baptised and God the Father spoke. I wonder how many other times this happened but they just did not see it because they were succumb by the physical?. Yet they knew that there was power in it and at least one apostle wanted to learn at this time! or was it that he was the only one bold enough to ask? After Jesus’s ascencion, they really relied on this discipline.
In our blog today, we are trying to understand what the scripture tell us in Luke 11:1-4 One disciple is asking Jesus to teach them how to pray. This scripture is taking me a long time to put into words as I believe it is impossible to really express its fullness. But then again that is the power of scripture. God speaks to us through it and something we did not see today, we might see tomorrow in a different light. Let us see what we get from it today.
Lord, teach us to pray “said one of His disciples” They had seen Jesus pray many times. why had they not learned? Their prayers were different from Jesus’s prayers. They were accustomed to go to the temple where the priest would perform the sacrifices and they would pray scripture. It was written scripture from the Torah. It usually followed a ritualistic attitude and a ritualistic form of prayer. Jesus was praying in a different way. It seems that John the Baptist was praying differently also and they had heard that He had taught his disciples how to do it.
In the Scriptures, we read that Jesus often went to pray alone, in the Garden, on the mountain, Surrounded by nature, getting up early while still dark, in preparation for His day. Jesus was often found outdoors as this is where Jesus lived. Often moving from place to place doing the work He came to do. We know that at the end of His ministry, He asked others, the disciples, to pray with Him. He mainly taught prayer by example but when He was asked by this one disciple, He was ready to teach him and give him a template of how a prayer needs to be. This template is for us as well.
Was their prayer mode wrong before? I don’t believe so. God had given them this mode of prayer through the Law of Moses but Jesus came and brough us a direct contact to God. After His payment for our sins, we have direct access through His name to God the Father, son and Holly Spirit. This is why when Jesus expired on the cross, the scriptures say that the curtains in the temple were torn. Signifying that this phase was completed and he had given us freedom as He had to access the Kingdom. We are heirs of the kingdom and therefore through Jesus, we now have direct access to our Heavenly father!!. Alleluia, Praise you Father, Thank you Jesus!. Isn’t this so exciting!! My soul rejoices and I pray yours too.
Did Jesus only pray The Lord’s prayer? I don’t think so. We hear of Him praying in the garden “Father if possible take this cup from me” In Matthew 11:25-26 He prays “I praise you, Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because you have hidden this things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, father, for this was your good pleasure.” This to me, seems an example of an intimate conversation with The Father.It goes along with that relationship Jesus encourages us to have with our Heavenly father. That relationship He longs to have with us.
Luke does not go through the whole prayer but Matthew 6:9-13 does and for our purpose of study, we are going to go through the whole prayer. I believe that the prayer is a format or a template to instruct us on how to enter into communication with the Father. He says, when you pray say:
Our Father who is in Heaven, Hollowed be your name. It establishes that you revere him as The God, the creator, the one in control and in whose hand you are in.
Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. You are telling Him that you recognize that this Earth is in trouble and your hope is in Him. I know that you have plans for us and will transform us into what it is already established in Heaven. Let it be! I join your forces as I submit to your will and allow your kingdom to take over in me and through me!
Give us this day, our daily bread. We are letting him know that while we are on earth, we understand that seeking His kingdom is priority and we believe and trust that He will provide for our needs. All our needs.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Never mind we are trying to forgive. I have forgiven for I believe in you and believe that you have forgiven me. you have paid the price through your son Jesus out of love for us and now we are forgiven!!. what then am I not able to forgive? no harm, no evil, no wrong doing is big enough to not forgive my brother for through Jesus I know love, for you are love, and when I am enveloped in your love, I know no hate and I can see through your eyes, which are the eyes of grace.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. This is a hard one to go through but in Romans 1 we find the hard consequences of our disobedience. I encourage you to read the whole chapter but also remember about God’s grace when you do it.God is love and He give us so many opportunities but the scriptures say: Romans 1: 1-20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Because that which is known about God is evident whit in them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse....1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind. To do those things which are not proper.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Father, I know I don’t deserve your forgiveness but I implore of your grace. We know by grace we are saved and not of our own doing for we are incapable but I take on the price Jesus paid for me and take on a new identity which is through him so that I can be made new. deliver me every day from the deception of the enemy and help me see your truth.
For yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever, amen. I acknowledge that I believe in your story Lord!. I know the kingdom is yours and you reign!. I know I belong to you no matter what the enemy says. I know the power is yours and will be yours forever. I will not be blinded to this world but I will live with that conviction for it is not for now, and for this physical time only but for eternity. I am joyous to be part of your kingdom and will be happy when all will see your glory!