I love to talk to my friends and family. I love hearing about what’s going on in their world, and I especially love to talk about what’s going on in my life. Most of the time when I talk to my family and friends, I find myself laughing super hard, having a great time. Communicating with people we care about is incredible rewarding and beneficial. We communicate to share love, care for others, and to express our concerns and stresses to others as well. Since we use communication in all of these ways, it is valuable and such an important part of life! Communication with God is no different! Matter of fact, it is more important because God is the best listener and capable of helping us no matter the situation.
- Who do you like to talk to?
- Can you imagine life without communicating to any of your friends or family? Describe how difficult this would be.
- How important is prayer in your life?
Jesus valued prayer; we find Jesus praying throughout the gospels in a wide variety of places and situations, often for long periods of time. Jesus’ entire life had a huge impact on those who followed Him. His disciples wanted to learn all about Him, and it was clear prayer was an important part of His life. Because of this, they wanted Him to teach them how to pray. Right as Jesus finishes saying a prayer in Luke 11:1, one of His disciples asks Him to teach them how to pray. They wanted to improve their communication with God, while also wanting to know how to pray like Jesus.
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.” (Luke 11:1 NKJV)
Sometimes, people we are talking to misunderstand us because there is a problem in the way we communicate our message. This can be frustrating, but it provides us with an opportunity to become a better communicator. Jesus’ disciples are attempting to improve their communication with God. God is fully capable of understanding us, even when we aren’t really clear, and this should give us a lot of confidence to pray regularly. Yet, we still need to improve our prayer life. We can do this by increasing the number of times we pray a day and by praying for new and different things.
Jesus answers His disciple by providing a model prayer. This is not an all-inclusive list; we can pray for things that are not included in the model prayer, but it can give us some helpful insights to help us know what to pray for.
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.” (Luke 11:2-4 NKJV)
Jesus tells us to begin our prayer by addressing our God as Father. What an amazing privilege to call God, the creator of the universe, our Father. This shows the type of relationship God wants to have for us. Just as a father is supposed to take care of his children and provide for them, so God our Father wants to take care of us and love us.
Jesus goes on to pray for two essentials: daily bread and the forgiveness of sins. These are two essentials we need to pray for in every prayer. Praying for our daily bread, or our daily food, helps us to remember, every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17). This part of the prayer shouldn’t be limited to just food but to all of our daily necessities. Remembering that our food and other daily needs come from God and that he blesses us so richly will help us to be joyful and thankful for all that God has provided us. We not only need to ask God for our daily essentials, but we also need to thank Him for these blessings. Praying for the forgiveness of sins daily provides us with another important reminder. We are hopeless and helpless without God’s grace. God has been so gracious to forgive us, and we need to remember how critical it was for Jesus to come and die in our place. We are not worthy of such love, and praying for forgiveness helps us to remember this. It also helps us to remember we still need to grow and be mindful of the areas we need to grow. It is clear in 1 John 1:8 that we are always going to struggle with sin and need continual grace and forgiveness.
Our prayer habits can always improve and be strengthened. If you struggle to know what to say in prayer remember Jesus’ disciple wanted help too! It’s always great to try to improve your communication with God, so don’t be afraid to ask someone to help you! We are beyond blessed because of the disciple who asked Jesus to teach him to pray so we could learn how to pray from Jesus as well.
Discuss or Think about the Following:
- How can you improve your prayer habits?
- Do you remember to pray for your daily essentials?
- Do you remember to pray for forgiveness of sins?
- Do you always pray for the same things or do you change it up?
 Here are a few examples of Jesus praying: Mark 1:35; Matthew 14:24; Luke 6:12; John 17.