One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”— Luke 11:1 (NIV)
My friend was painstakingly peeling cloves of garlic with a huge butcher knife (because we use the nearest tool at hand, thinking we are saving time.) She accepted my offer to teach her a better method. I took that huge butcher knife, turned it on its side, smashed each clove of garlic and easily removed the peelings from a now ready pile of garlic.
In Luke 11:1, Jesus’ disciples waited until He finished praying and then asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Jesus had already told them to pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:28 NIV). He took Peter, John and James to a mountain to pray (Luke 9:28). And for what feeble reason did they want to learn? Because the other guys knew how (Luke 11:1)!
Are we any different? We know we’re supposed to pray. We’ve seen people’s lives changed by prayer, but why do we want to pray? Does it matter? The truth is that if we ask, the Lord will teach us.
The Greek word for prayer in Luke 11:1 comes from the root word PROS which basically means ‘motion towards, accession to or nearness of.” The result of our prayer is a moving toward God, a coming nearer to Him. And we want that, don’t we? After all, prayer is the nearest tool at hand.
Prayer: Lord, teach us to pray. Amen.
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