Teach Us to Pray (Part 2)
Ask: What did the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to do? (Pray!)
Today we are going to think about the prayer that Jesus gives the disciples. Now, Jesus didn’t expect them, or us, to pray these exact words all of the time. Rather, it is an example to follow. It gives us a really good starting place. Let’s read it first, then we’ll break it down.
Read: Luke 11:2-4
- Father—It is good to start off by saying who you are talking to. Of course, God already knows that you are talking to him, but it shows respect to him.
- Hallowed be your name—“Hallowed” is not a word we use today, but it means “honored.” Jesus is saying we should show God respect and praise him. We say how awesome he is because he is God and there is no one else like him. We can praise him for all of the good things he gives us and we can tell him thanks for always helping us, even in hard things.
- Your kingdom come—We tell God that we want him to be the boss of everything. In his kingdom everything is good because he is good. We want this earth, and our lives, to be more like the place where he rules.
- Give us each day our daily bread —We can ask God to provide everything we need for today and trust he will do it. Certainly we can trust him to give us what we need to eat, but we can also ask him to help us with things like remembering what we studied for that test and helping us have patience with our brother or sister.
- Forgive us our sins—There are times when we all choose to do what we want to do instead of what God wants. He wants us to be honest and tell him. And when we tell God he hears and forgives because of Jesus. (1 John 1:9)
- For we also forgive everyone who sins against us—Just as God forgives us through Jesus, he wants us to forgive other people who do wrong things to us. (Ephesians 4:32) Since God told us this is what he wants us to do, we know that he will help us!
- And lead us not into temptation—This one is a little tricky. God tells us that he will never tempt us to sin, that is not who he is (James 1:13). What Jesus is saying is that we should ask God to lead us away from things that would tempt us to sin and to take us towards what is good instead. We ask him to help us avoid the danger of sin altogether.
Jesus gives us an amazing example of prayer to follow. Prayer is not magic or hard to understand. You don’t have to use special words or be in a specific place. It is simply talking to God, telling him that you trust him and choose to follow his ways because he is good.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me an example of how to pray. Help me to spend more time talking with you every day. In Jesus name, amen.