Sunday Worship at 11AM | 4967 Fincher Rd., Canton, GA 30114

Sunday we continued in our series, The Gospel. If you missed week-39, you can catch up on Facebook now.

For 39 weeks now we’ve been going verse-by-verse, chapter-by-chapter through a study in the Gospel of Luke. That’s over a month’s worth of time we’ve spent in this incredible book. Over 39 hours we studied through the first 11 chapters. We’ve explored the teaching, life, and ministry of Jesus. It continues to be my prayer that each of us is becoming more like Jesus as we explore this Gospel.

As we kicked off chapter 11, we find ourselves in a section of Scripture subtitled in most Bibles as “The Lord’s Prayer.” As I said on Sunday, this prayer would much more appropriately be called “The Disciples Prayer.” The first four verses of chapter 11 are all about Jesus teaching His disciples to pray.

This powerful section of Scripture kicks off with a simple request from an unnamed disciple: “Lord, teach us to pray” (see Luke 11:1). Notice that the disciple didn’t ask about what specifically to pray, but about how to pray. I want to remind you that Jesus warns us that our prayers should never become mechanical. In Jesus’ day some liked to pray long, eloquent prayers for the glory while others like to pray repetitious prayers in hopes of being heard. Jesus said that both these types of prayer is wrong. (See Matthew 6:5-8)

In one practical lesson, Jesus talks about a Pharisee and a tax collector who went down to the temple to pray. The Pharisee, one of the religious elite, prayed a sanctimonious, pride filled prayer. The tax collector simple cried out for mercy realizing he was a sinner. It was the tax collector Jesus said, not the Pharisee, who went down to his house justified. (See Luke 18:14) The point is simply this, our prayers must be genuine, authentic, and honest. We should keep a sober realization of who we are praying to and who we are in relation to who He is.

I explained on Sunday that the word Father in Luke 11:2 finds its Aramaic equivalent in the word Abba. In Galatians 4:6, Paul tells us “And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” There is a beautiful tension when we pray. On the one hand, God is our loving, graceful, good Father. On the other, God is the holy, King of kings and Lord of lords. Keeping a Biblical perspective will help us enjoy a rich, vibrant prayer life focused on Christ.

For those who are new at praying, there is one acronym that has helped me personally when I pray. The PRAY acronym goes like this:

  • P – Praise
  • R – Repent
  • A – Ask
  • Y – Yield

Our prayers begin with praise and reflection on who God is. We might praise God for His faithfulness, how He has specifically kept His promises, or just praise for who He is and what He has done. Then, we repent of any unconfessed sin in our lives. We confess it for what it is and ask God to forgive us, trusting that is exactly what He promises to do (1 John 1:9). Next, we ask God for what we need, trusting that He is able and willing (Philippians 4:6-7). Lastly, we yield our asks to His will. Like Jesus, we pray “but not my will be done but Your will be done.” (See Luke 22:42)

Lastly, as we close out today, I just wonder if you are praying consistently. Are you making intentional time to pray and seek God each day? This doesn’t have to be hours of silent prayer. This might be 5 minutes in the morning before getting dressed, or 5 minutes before you turn the lights off at night. Today I promise you that God not only wants to hear from you, but He wants you to hear from Him. So… are you ready to pray?

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Categories: Devotion