Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”
Mark 1:27 – Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”
Simply said, according to the Jesus model of prayer in Luke 11, prayer is having conversation with God as a child communicates with his father. It is the process of conversation/co-operation with our heavenly father resulting in deeper relationship with him. This conversation (prayer) activates divine action, arrangement or re-arrangement in our lives, including situations/things both in the physical and spiritual sphere. Prayer is the highest form of conversation. It is a dialogue between the father and his offspring regardless of which party initiates the dialogue. It should not be likened to an official meeting between a boss and employee, it is a family conversation. While prayer includes asking and receiving, it is not only asking and receiving. It is an intimate and heart to heart family conversation. The concept of prayer has been wrongly defined as asking and receiving or as communication with God. It has been projected as it is the method of squeezing things out of God. The getting of things has been more emphasis ed over the deepening of relationship with the father. That is why we have an army of give me, give me, give me Christians and prayer warrior. Such people are quick to be offended, if they don’t have their way with God or man. Prayer is not a monologue it is a dialogue. Prayer has been made to appear as a conversation between a commander and an officer but that this is not the case in the New Testament concept of prayer. Jesus implied that it is a conversation firstly between a father and his child and not between God and man, not a king and is subjects. According to Jesus, God is first our father before he is our God. In the Old Testament before the fall of man, Adam related to God first as family, but after the fall, people related to the Him only God, Lord and creator because the devil had become the father of human race through the fall. But after Jesus died and rose from the dead for our sins. God is now first our father and Jesus Christ is now our brother. We are now in God’s family through the sacrifice of Christ.
When we pray from the standpoint that prayer is a conversation between God and man and not a conversation between father and his offspring then our prayer lack the level of intimacy, cordiality, warmth and privilege that we ought to enjoy. God is first our father before he is anything else. So in the context of prayer you should renew your mind to the truth that you are having a family conversation with your father. He is the God of the whole creation but he first your father.
For further Study
Matthew 6: 9-12, Luke 18:1-8.
Personal declaration for the day
Today, I will may my prayer a two way conversation with God.
Questions for you to reflect on
What is prayer to you?
Where did you learn to pray the way you pray?