"Lord, teach us to pray."
What would you consider to be the most important aspect of your spiritual life? What would you also say is one of the greatest struggles of your Christian life? Interestingly, many people would respond to both questions with the same answer: prayer. Prayer is something that we know is absolutely necessary to the success of our Christian walk, but it is also one area in which many Christians struggle to be faithful or in their opinion successful.
On a certain day Jesus was spending time in prayer. His disciples sat and waited somewhere nearby as He prayed. I can imagine them watching Jesus pray. I am sure that He prayed with passion and conviction. His times of prayer were not short platitudes to the Father, but they were instead desperate pleas. In these moments you could witness the tenderness of Jesus and the power of Jesus at the same time. The disciples were captivated by this, because they were also firsthand witnesses to each of these prayers being answered. When Jesus rose from His prayer on this day, a certain disciple asked that Jesus would teach them to pray. The one thing that this disciple wanted to emulate in Jesus' life was prayer.
When you think of all that the disciples saw of Jesus, isn't it interesting that prayer was what they wanted to be taught? They did not ask to be taught to preach and teach like Jesus. They did not ask how to walk on water. They did not ask how to divide up small amounts of food so that they could feed multitudes. They did not ask how to heal blind eyes, lame legs, and withered hands. They asked to be taught to pray like Jesus. Why? I believe that they saw that all of the other things in Jesus' life were a result of His relationship with the Father in prayer. There was a communion in prayer that no miracle could manufacture. If they were going to teach thousands the truth of God's way, they knew that only through prayer would they be given power from on high. They saw that when Jesus prayed He was actually communicating one on one with the Father. Prayer was not a religious exercise but a relational communication with the Almighty. They had access to the Father!
How desperate we are today to pray like this again! We need to be able to communicate with the Father on a daily basis in an open and unfettered way.
May you learn to pray like Jesus prayed!