Teach Us To Pray

It is amazing what we think the Bible is saying when really it is not. So many passages become so familiar to those of us who read it daily and have done so over the years, even decades. So, we read the words but they don’t speak to us because we assume we know what they say. We know the story. We know the teaching of Jesus. We have been here, read that before. It is almost like we are wearing “religious glasses” that prevent us from seeing old truths in new ways. And, that definitely prevent us from seeing any real new truth. 

But God’’s Word states that it is living, active, alive and working inside us.

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

The Passion Translation: “For we have the living Word of God, which is full of energy, and it pierces more sharply than a two-edged sword. It will even penetrate to the very core of our being where soul and spirit, bone and marrow meet! It interprets and reveals the true thoughts and secret motives of our hearts.”

So, maybe, just maybe, we need to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to remove our traditional or religious glasses and give us new eyes – spiritual eyes – to see new truths and even old truths in a new light.

One personal example I have recently experienced is found in Luke, Chapter 11…

Luke 11:1 says, “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place and when He finished one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.’”

Notice it does not say “teach us how to pray,” which is often misquoted. It says “teach us to pray.”

The disciples had been with Jesus in one of His times of prayer. And, as they watched Him and listened to how He was praying and what He was praying they recognized something. There was a revelation. Something deep inside these young men who were following Jesus clicked and they realized that what they called prayer was really nothing like what Jesus experienced as prayer. They came to the realization (revelation) that they totally misunderstood what prayer was and how prayer worked. So, they realized that there were, in Jesus’ terms, prayerless.

So, they turned to Jesus and said, “teach us to pray.” In other words, obviously what we have been doing over the years – the traditional prayers of the Jewish faith – is not prayer as you experience it, Lord. So, teach us to pray. Not “how to pray” but “to pray.” Basic reality.

I would suggest that this is a dangerous, powerful prayer to pray. We should not pray this request unless we really mean it, because God will often use trials and hardships and difficulties to teach us to pray. He will totally change what we view as prayer and revolutionize our time with the Father that we now call our “quiet time” or “devotional life.” 

I, for one, want to have Jesus totally stir up and change my prayer life. I am praying “Lord, teach me to pray (as you prayed and continue to pray today at the right hand of the Father.”