Lesson Plan - Get It!
When we want to learn something, we go to a school that specializes in that subject. If we want to be like someone, we imitate the characteristics that impress us, and ask for his or her secret if possible. John taught his disciples how to pray, and Jesus' disciples wanted the same education.
The disciples didn't ask much.
In Luke 11, they asked Jesus to teach them to pray after they watched him pray. In Luke 17:5, after Jesus laid out the standards for forgiveness, they said, "Increase our faith!"
In a sense, the two go hand-in-hand; we wouldn't pray if we didn't have faith in God, and we need faith to learn to forgive so our prayers are heard. Do we care enough to come to Christ to learn how to be a better Christian?
Before continuing, if you missed or need to review the previous two Related Lessons in our Prayer Warrior! series, find them in the right-hand sidebar.
In answer to the first request, Jesus taught what is called "The Lord's Prayer," because it was taught by Christ. Rabbis used what were called index prayers, brief sentences that were prayer suggestions. They would then enlarge upon each sentence before moving to the next.
With the Lord's Prayer, we can hang our own thoughts and words on these branches like Christmas ornaments. We'll use the more complete form in Matthew 6:9–13.
- Address: Our Father in heaven
- Possession: Our
- Our Father: God is ours — To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours (1 Corinthians 1:2).
- There is equal access and equal responsibility; no partiality — And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18).
- Our Brother: Jesus is our big brother — Go instead to my brothers and tell them, "I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God" (John 20:17). We are co-inheritors — Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves (Colossians 1:12-13).
- Paternity: Father
- Our True Relative — So that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 15:6). No uncertain pedigree — You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ (Galatians 3:26-27).
- Our True Relationship: OT saints did not approach God on such intimate terms (Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6). We call God "Abba," an intimate term like "Daddy."
- Our True Responsibility: God is our Father by virtue of adoption and new birth (Romans 8:15; John 3:3). God will take care of us (Matthew 6:26; 7:7-11). He feeds the birds and will never give us a stone instead of bread.
- Our True Riches — Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).
- Our True Recipient: Prayers (proseuchomai) are directed to God and God alone (See the Selected Verses about Prayer handout in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar). Prayer to another god or with a prideful spirit cannot be heard.
"The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them" (Psalm 135:15–18).
"The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people' . . . everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 18:11–14).
Because God is our Father, we can be secure in His love and presence. All of our petitions flow out of this relationship, and all our praises flow into this relationship.
Continue on to the Got It? section to learn about where our prayers go.