“He was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “Whenever you pray, say:
Your name be honored as holy.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves also forgive everyone
in debt to us.
And do not bring us into temptation.” (Luke 11:1-4)
These verses in Luke are part of the “Model Prayer” that Jesus shared with His disciples. The disciples asked Jesus about prayer and how they should pray. Jesus shares with them this short prayer as a model for how they should pray. They should acknowledge God the Father as holy. They should ask for daily provisions. They should ask for forgiveness and repent of their sins and to show forgiveness to others. And they should ask for help in dealing with temptation.
We all have times when we struggle to pray. Sometimes it is hard to have those moments to sit and pray. But the good thing is God listens to our prayers big or small. He wants us to have those conversations with Him. And thankfully when we’re struggling with prayer, we have this model prayer that Jesus shared to go back to and have a starting point.
This week, let us commit to prayer. No matter how big or small, let us take time to have those conversations with the Lord.
“Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)
During the night before His crucifixion, Jesus shared the Passover meal with the disciples and gave what would be His final words of instruction before He would be arrested and killed. In the middle of sharing with His disciples. Jesus looks at Peter and tells him what will happen to him. Later Jesus tells Peter that before the rooster crows three times, Peter will deny Jesus. Here Jesus is telling Peter (and the disciples as a whole) that Satan wants them. Satan wants to sift them like wheat. He wants to cause trouble in their lives.
But Jesus tells them that He has prayed for them and He tells Peter that when he repents (from denying) to “strengthen your brothers.” Even in these short verses, there is truth. We will have to deal with tough times. We will mess up and fail. But the great news is that Jesus is praying for us. He is interceding for us with the Father. He is able to do that because of His death paying the cost for our sins and His resurrection being at the right hand of God. And when we fail, we can repent and turn back to Him and He accepts us. As well, we have the opportunity to strengthen and encourage one another as we all go through various trials and tribulations.
This week, let us give thanks that Jesus has prayed for us. Let us be grateful that when we mess up, we can repent and turn back to God. And let us encourage one another and strengthen our brothers and sisters in Christ.
For this week’s “Thursday Quote Day”, here is a quote from theologian and author John Stott:
“Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us (leading us to faith and worship), we have to see it as something done by us (leading us to repentance).” (John Stott)