Daily encouragement

Video by

Kat Brown

ACF Devo Team

dive deeper

Luke 11:1

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.”

Behind the Scenes

Have you ever wondered how God hears us when we pray or why he even wants to hear us in the first place? Have you questioned the effectiveness of prayer? How about our motives? Do those matter when we pray? Can we pray to God when we have doubts about his goodness or even his existence? Despite having read several books on the subject and having practiced prayer for as long as I can remember, I still have more questions than answers about how exactly it all works.

Over the next several weeks, we are doing a deep dive into the topic of prayer. I’m excited for the opportunity to grow in this area, but it’s important to remember our access to God through prayer doesn’t depend on a PhD-level understanding of prayer. Finding 100% resolution for all our doubts is not a prerequisite for approaching God. Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us that because Christ is our great high priest who has passed through the heavens, we can boldly approach God’s throne to receive mercy and grace in times of need. Christ himself made a way for us to enter God’s presence in prayer.

Today’s passage comes just before Jesus teaches his disciples the model for prayer that we know as “The Lord’s Prayer.” While this prayer, which appears in Luke 11:2-4, is regularly recited by believers around the world, we often skip past verse one. It begins with a simple but profound statement: “Now Jesus was praying.” God the Son was conversing with God the Father in prayer. Prayer was and continues to be (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25) the way Jesus communes with the Father. Incredibly, we are also invited to commune with God in that same way!

Make it Real

There are days when it’s easy for me to talk to God. There are other days when I have trouble finding the words. It’s comforting to know that even the disciples who daily walked with Jesus asked for direction on how to pray. The model for prayer Jesus gave them begins by exalting the Father and praying for his will to be accomplished. Then come requests for provision, forgiveness, and leading. This is a great starting point for us as we approach God.

In the Scriptures, we not only have Jesus’ teaching on how to pray, but also his own example of a prayer-filled life. Jesus often withdrew to pray (Luke 5:16), he sometimes prayed through the night (Luke 6:12), he prayed to praise God (Matthew 11:25), he prayed in agony (Matthew 27:46), he prayed for himself (John 17:1), and he prayed for others (John 17:9). The fact that Jesus himself prioritized prayer is the single greatest motivator in my personal prayer life. Even though I don’t fully understand, even when my words feel lacking, I have his example to strive after. And, as his disciple, I can always approach him and say, “Lord, teach me to pray.”

End in Prayer

Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.

Written by

Hailey Schroeder

ACF Devo Team