Then one day you pick up your phone and realize you've missed a call. You press the play button on your voicemail and its Roger Federer offering to fly you to Wimbledon, England, to meet him there and receive a private day of instruction from him on Centre Court.
Think you'd take him up on his offer? And if not tennis, what is your favorite passion? If it's cooking, maybe Gordon Ramsay. If it's golf, maybe Tiger Woods. If it's pop art, maybe Peter Max. Whatever the passion, to sit at a master's feet and learn from them would be priceless.
The disciples had a passion for prayer and they knew they had witnessed a master at prayer. Maybe you have a passion for prayer too, but you aren't sure how to go about it. What if you could have Jesus teach you? The truth is you can. What he taught his disciples then he teaches his disciples now. They asked him to teach them to pray and he did (Luke 11:1-4).
Jesus was "praying in a certain place." The disciples were there with him and when he finished one of them said, "Lord, teach us to pray..." He gave them a simple pattern to help them learn the path of prayer. Take a quick look at the basic structure of the pattern:
"Father." Prayer is talking, but it is talking to Someone. When you pray to God address him as you would a person. Prayer is first about relationship. If you've had a good father role model, then this address comes easy to you. But what if you didn't? You probably have a vision of what a good father would be like. You will come to find out that God is far better than any good vision you have. So when you pray, say Father.
"Hallowed be your name." "Hallowed" means "holy" or "special" or "unique" or "treasured." "Hallowed" probably doesn't mean much to us, but "treasured" does. You have something you treasure. You have relationships you treasure. So what we are to pray is that first we treasure God and second that his name become treasured in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
"Your kingdom come." Usually we start telling God our agenda. "Father, I need this." Or, "Father, we are going to do this or that and we need you to rubber stamp it." We want God to bless the life we are living. But prayer is about us learning to live the life God is blessing. In prayer we get in sync with him. He will show you how to let his kingdom come in your marriage, in your parenting, in your friendships, in your workplace, in your community and in your world.
"Give us each day our daily bread." "Daily" bread is important. In the ancient world you did not stock up on groceries. You would go to the market and get just enough for one day or else things would spoil. Bread would get old and dry, so you would live day to day. God wants us to have faith that he will provide daily.
"Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us." Jesus creates a linkage between how we forgive each other and how God forgives us. We realize quickly that at times we don't forgive very well. We hope that God forgives us better than we forgive people.
"And lead us not into temptation." This is a prayer of protection. We know that we are tempted. We make critical comments, we cut corners, and we don't follow through. There is a self-awareness that comes with prayer that says, "I know I am capable of being tempted." So we become proactive in our prayers and ask God to intervene and keep us out of those situations.
Learn to pray from the Master pray-er. You'll find yourself living a blessed life if you do.
Why not download our fall daily prayer focus based on the Master's Model Prayer and a call to be God's people who are to influence the world around them for the Father's Glory. You can find this resource for your daily spiritual practices here: http://hlt.me/RiPRKD.
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