“Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1)
The disciples of Jesus had listened to his sermons, but never asked,
“Teach us to preach.” They had observed his powerful miracles, but never said, “Lord, teach us to do miracles.” The one thing they asked for Him to teach them was how to pray. Knowing how to pray effectively is far more desirable than knowing how to preach a powerful sermon. Moving heaven is much greater than moving men on earth.
Of course, there are many desirable gifts or privileges, but none
surpasses the privilege of prayer. We can train men to preach moving sermons, but powerful praying can only come out of hearts that have been touched by the Master. More is accomplished through prayer than through sermons for without prayer sermons are empty and ineffective.
Obviously the disciples had witnessed Jesus on His knees. They had seen the hand of God moved through His prayers. No one had prayed like Him. No one had talked with the Father the way Jesus did. They stood in awe as they listened to Him pray and they wanted to pray like Jesus prayed. Only Jesus could teach them to pray like that.
I’ve heard many moving prayers. Some were very short but powerful. A little boy in New York prayed, “God, I thank you for making me a human being and not a dog!” Some of the old saints knew how to pray. The key? They knew they were really talking to God and that God was listening.
Prayer is every believer’s privilege. Not everyone is called to become preachers, or elders, or teachers, but everyone is called to pray. Later, Jesus would say, “Men ought always to pray and not to lose heart” (Luke 18:1). Praying opens the doors of heaven and moves the hand of God.
Unfortunately, many Christians do not avail themselves of this privilege. Instead, there is an expectation that life moves on its own, most days are reasonably comfortable, and we maintain good health. We forget that prayer is not solely about us. It is primary about communing with our heavenly Father. It is about advancing His kingdom in a world of darkness.
We are instructed to pray for others, to pray for laborers to go into the fields to reap the harvest, and for the spread of the gospel. If prayer is really power, how foolish is it for us to rely on ourselves when we have little control over anything. We have access to our God, the “Almighty” One, who is never tired or weary. Who is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask of think, according to the power at work in us”. (Ephesians 3:20).
– Al Behel