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Teach Us To Pray

Daily Reading: Luke 11

Scripture Focus: Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11.1)

Devotional Thought: Sometimes we regard prayer as something mysterious, personal, ethereal. Jesus left a different impression on his disciples:

It was in a "certain place." Prayer is more than just a vague feeling throughout the day. It is rooted in a definite time and place. To "pray without ceasing" we must first of all pray without distraction. We must go to a place where we can be alone with God.

It was a specific task which he "finished." I believe that Jesus was in communion with the Father throughout the day as evidenced by those spontaneous bits of conversation we see in the gospels. But, there was a particular task of prayer that he finished so that he could then focus on his other duties. The old timers used to call that "praying through." Do we pray through?

It could be taught - "Teach us..." We sometimes think that prayer is so mysterious that some people have the gift of prayer while others do not. That is not true according to this passage. John taught his disciples to pray. Jesus taught his disciples to pray. Since prayer is a skill that can be taught, it obviously is a skill that can be learned. And, what better way to learn than by doing? Let's get started on our lessons!

You can take the mystery out of prayer by going to the place of prayer, completing the task of prayer, and learning the practice of prayer.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, that you have taught us to pray. Help us to faithfully learn and apply the prayer skills you give us. Help us to develop into strong men and women of prayer. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; 2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. 3 On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased. 4 All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD, for they have heard the words of your mouth, 5 and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD. 6 For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar. 7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. 8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. (Psalms 138:1-8)

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