Read Luke 11:1-4
“And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth” (v. 2).
In an environment where self-aggrandizing hypocrites sought the attention and adulation of others when they prayed, and where idol-worshiping heathen used meaningless repetition in prayer (Matt. 6:2), the disciples wanted to learn how to pray from Jesus, whose prayers clearly received a response from God the Father. What did Jesus teach?
In contrast to those hypocritical and meaningless prayers witnessed by the disciples, Jesus taught them to pray with directness, sincerity, and transparency.
Jesus invited them to begin by addressing God as “Our Father.” From this simple, direct form of address, Jesus’ disciples were reminded of their status in relation to each other (“Our”) and God (“Father”). They belonged in the family of God.
Jesus’ teaching on prayer was also a contrast to the affectation of the hypocrites: it was a call to sincerity. Unlike the pompous language of the self-righteous or the vain repetition of the heathen, Jesus wanted the disciples to pray with sincere simplicity. Their prayers were to be meaningful.
Finally, Jesus taught His disciples to pray with transparency, acknowledging their needs rather than touting their own righteousness. Jesus’ disciples were to confess their physical and spiritual needs while seeking the will of God. Their walk and talk with God were to be authentic. (Lyle A. Witt)
God help us to pray with directness, sincerity, and transparency!
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