February 01, 2021

Lord, Teach Us to Pray

Luke 11:1-4

One day, Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray. . . .”

—  Luke 11:1

Many of God’s people in the Bible show us the importance of prayer. For example, Moses prayed to the Lord to guide and have mercy on his people (Deuteronomy 9:26-29), and Hannah prayed for a son, whom she would dedicate to serve the Lord (1 Samuel 1:11).

Jesus, the Son of God who came to save us from our sins, prayed too. He prayed a lot. The gospel books (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) mention him praying in a variety of settings and situations. Jesus prayed alone in the mountains. He prayed in the evening. He spent whole nights praying. He gave thanks for the food he shared with crowds. He prayed for his followers and for all people to believe in him.

It may surprise us that Jesus prayed. After all, he was the Son of God, so why would he need to pray? There’s certainly mystery here, but Jesus’ life of prayer reminds us that prayer is communication with God the Father. Jesus’ prayers show us the importance of loving the Father deeply and desiring to please and glorify God. Jesus’ prayers highlight our dependence on the Father. They also show that prayer refreshed and renewed him for his ministry.

Seeing Jesus’ commitment to prayer, his disciples wanted to learn from him. And whom but Jesus himself could be better to turn to for instruction in prayer?

Lord Jesus, by your example and your passion, teach us to pray. Draw us to grow closer to you, and help us to do your will in the world. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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