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.”
John 13:16 – Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.
From the above question asked by the disciple and answer given by Jesus, it is noted that effective prayer is a skill that has to be learned and developed. Effective prayer is skill that is essential for productive Christian life and Jesus has given us instruction on and demonstrated it to us in the gospels.
To pray like Jesus implies there are other ways to pray but Jesus’ method of prayer must have been seen to be more effective. From carrying out a research and reading the bible we would see that people prayed before and after Jesus came to the earth. But the result of the prayer of Jesus stands out and rated above the rest. So the question asked by the disciple is a necessary and valuable question.
To pray like Jesus you have to be intentional and willing to adopt his way and style. You should be humble enough to accept an upgrade in your thinking and willing to accept the demand that comes with it. So the first steps are strong desires and intentions. This is clear from the event that led to the question.
Another important step is you have to be a lover of Christ. You must build relationship with Christ. From studying the above scripture I sense that this disciple was not just interested in getting a quick result, or else he would have told Jesus to pray for him or pray on his behalf and he would have gotten his result. However, he did not, he wanted to be taught how to pray like Jesus. This brings me to conclusion that this disciple wanted more than result, he wanted be a producer of results like Christ. He wanted to like Christ; he wanted to do the works of Christ, he wanted to live like Christ. Our first and ultimate goal should be to be like Jesus Christ. When we become like Christ we will command the same result like him because we will pray like him. Being like Jesus is daily and not for a season.
The next step is found in the second phrase in the response of Christ to the disciple,’ “When you pray, SAY’. This implies that effective prayer requires words of expression. Prayer has to be said, it has to be clearly articulated. So you have to put your request into words. Jesus said in Mark 11, that you shall have what you say.
The next step is your approach. Jesus instructs us to approach God as our father. As said in my previous write up, prayer is a family conversation between the father and his children. Some people dread prayer and they find it burdensome and not enjoyable. This is as a result of wrong understanding and mindset on prayer. Anything you hate you cannot maximise its benefit. Prayer is one major way that God has provided for us to keep a constant open line of conversation with us his children so as to strengthen the bond we have with Him. To under utilise this tool is to rob us of great opportunities.
For further Study
Matthew 12:37, Philippians 4:13
Personal declaration for the day
I will not speak hurtful or unwholesome words. Rather I will speak uplifting and creative words.
Questions for you to reflect on
Name some of your prayers that have been answered?
Describe the process from request to answer?