The way you say something can convey a message sometimes as strong as the words themselves. In fact the way you say it can be the determining factor in just what the message is. Let’s look at Luke 11:1 and see what he records the disciple is requesting in regard to prayer. What he did not say was “teach us how to pray”, rather he said “teach us to pray.” The first would be to give the mechanics or procedures of prayer, yet the latter would be to teach us the desire or habit.
Prayer is the cement that bonds our relationship with God just as communication with our friends and families is what holds those relationships together. The disciple desired the same bond with God that Jesus had demonstrated so very often especially in the beginning portion of Luke 11:1.
My question to you is two-fold. Do you have the same desire, to have the type of relationship with God, the Father, as Jesus had while on earth? And if you do, can you echo the words of the disciple “Lord, teach us to pray?” This request makes it personal to you in that you desire involvement. You want to pray yourself, not to have to rely on others to do it for you. Paul told the evangelist Timothy (1 Tim 2:5) that we have but one mediator between us and God, He being the man Christ Jesus. Teach us or me indicates a willingness to learn, a willingness to change our behavior to have this relationship with God. Last of all, can you even address God as “Lord”? Do you recognize and accept His power, His authority? Is He your master, or does something else command your loyalty?
Lord, teach us to pray was the plea of one of Jesus’ disciples and it is a plea that all who seek to serve God should make. Prayer implies and demonstrates a trust in God and the relationship with Him that is based on faith. There are promises for God’s children, are they something you embrace? Has the Lord taught you to pray?
Copyright © 2004, Nolan P. Rutter