The Lord’s Prayer
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name…” (Luke 11:1-2)
The first step in learning something new is to admit that you know nothing about it. The second step is to ask someone to teach you. The disciples of Jesus came asking him to teach them to pray. It may at first appear curious to us why Jesus didn’t sit his disciples down and take the initiative to train them. Instead, he spent time alone in prayer and waited for his disciples to notice. In their questions, they showed they were ready to learn.
Everything in the kingdom of God is available to us. God withholds nothing from us but waits for us to sense our spiritual deficiency and to start yearning for something more. Our yearning creates the space for God to work. A life of deep, meaningful, and fruitful prayer is ours for the asking, but we must first ask. The reason for this is so that our prayer life is not something of our own creation, but a gift from God.
Lord Jesus, as you taught your disciples to pray, teach me also. I confess my ignorance of prayer and ask you to lead me into a life of deep and meaningful communion with you as my God, my Savior, and my Friend.
If you ask Jesus to teach you to pray, he will. But prayer is work, and you must be determined to learn to pray. Your determination will show itself in your actions. To prepare, you will need to find a place and time to pray. Your time in prayer will need to be alone time, without interruption. You may need to rise earlier in the morning or stay up later in the evening. You may need to create a sign for the door that says: “In Prayer” so that you are not interrupted. You may need to turn off your phone as a sign of how serious you are to connect with God. Prayer is spiritual work. Today is a day of expectation and preparation. Tomorrow we will learn the first step.