What Jesus Said About Prayer
I hope you have your Bible handy. We’re going to let God talk to us--through His Word about how we can talk to Him--through prayer. So, open your Bible to Luke, the eleventh chapter. Keep it open there for awhile and we’ll study some things Jesus said about prayer. Verse one tells us how the subject of prayer came up: “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples. “They were impressed by how much and how well Jesus prayed. They could tell it was important to Him. In their Jewish faith they had been taught how to pray. John the Baptist taught his followers about prayer, so it was natural to ask: “Lord, teach us to pray.”
So He did. Look at verses two through four. “Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say this: “Father: May your holy name be honored; may your Kingdom come. Give us day by day the food we need. Forgive us our sins, for we forgive everyone who does us wrong. And do not bring us to hard testing””’ (Luke 11:2-4 TEV).
What’s the first thing to say when we pray? “Father!” The God to whom we pray is not a computer. Nor is He some cosmic cop wanting to punish us. He is a very loving, special, personal God who wants you to call Him “Father”. Because of Christ you can!
From Roman history comes the story of an Emperor, in his chariot, as apart of a triumphant parade. The streets were lined with cheering people. Legionnaires were stationed to keep the people at a safe distance. At one point of the parade route there was a- patiorm where sat the Empress and children to watch the Emperor go by in all the pride of his position. As the Emperor came near, a little boy jumped from the platform, burrowed through the crowd, tried to dodge a Legionnarie so he could run to the Emperor’s chariot. The soldier stopped him and said, “You can’t go out there. bov don’t you know who is in that chariot? That’s the Emperor. You can’t go near him.” And the little lad laughed. “He may be your Emperor, but he’s my father.”
Now what is the first thing our Father wants us to ask for? “May your holy name be honored.” You know that phrase means a lot of things .It means that we come because of His holiness, not ours. But mostly it means that we are recognizing His holiness, that He is sacred to us. There’s another good reason to pray, “May your holy name be honored,” and that’s because His name isn’t honored in this world. We pray it earnestly, tearfully, and even a little angrily, because it is so obviously true this society of ours is shot through with an irreverence that makes us sick at heart. A few years back, a boy smashed the interior of a small country church. Apparently be was striking out in blind revenge because, due to a misunderstanding, they didn’t take him on a picnic. He was an only child with a terrible family background, and didn’t know any better. For these reasons ...
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