Learning to Pray

"Lord, teach us to pray." After Jesus had just prayed, one of the disciples voiced this request. Did the disciples see something wholly different about how Jesus prayed? They must have recognized something they did not have in their prayers if they asked him to instruct them.

Without any lengthy, lofty prayers, without wordy dissertations on the aspects of prayer, and even without much explanation, Jesus gives them a brief, but loaded model prayer. It is so pivotal to the Church that even if we have never tried, most of us have it memorized, and well we should.

Not only does it have all the aspects of prayer built in, but it has the purpose of prayer, aligning us with the will of the Father as we seek to see his kingdom established here on earth.

As the Dong people begin to hear Jesus as he prays, here and elsewhere, we should pray that they too would see something different about his prayers. He does not have to go to a shaman or priest to determine what needs to be prayed. He does not have to bring incense or the blood of chickens to convince the Father to listen. One thing is for sure: it is completely different from the prayers of the Dong.

And as for Dong Christians, just like us, there is so much to be learned in the Lord's prayer which is helpful for their instruction. Let us pray that they will begin seeking the Father in prayer following Jesus's model here.

As Jesus says a few verses later about the Father's answers to our prayers, "how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" May they ask for God himself to indwell them. And may we ask that the Spirit would use this scripture to work into their hearts and draw them into deeper fellowship with the Father.

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