12. Praying beyond merely "Our Father..."
1) Privately–Luke 11:1, Matt. 6:5-8, 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 9:18 “As He was praying” / “Go into your closet”
Jesus prayed like, as they say, “no one was watching.” A century ago, these were called “secret devotions”. Now we say “Quiet Times” or devotionals with the Lord alone, preferably early in the morning.
2) Personally–Luke 11:2-4, Mark 14:36 “Our Father” (only 59 words in the Lord’s prayer) / “Abba, Father”
There is an intimacy that Jesus prayed with God and that He encouraged us to pray intimately as well.
3) Persistently–Luke 11:5-8, 18:1-8; Matt. 7:7-11; 15:21-28; 26:41-44 “because of his persistence”
Our Lord instructed us to pray with diligence and persistence.
4) Purposefully–Matt. 6:7-8; Mark 11:34 “vain repetitions” / “whatever things you ask when you pray,”
In our persistence, it is also with purpose. Repetitions is not what Jesus spoke against but mindless, purposeless rote prayers.
5) Powerfully–Luke 11:9-10; Matt. 21:21-22, John 5:4-7; 14:13-14, 16:23 “Ask, and it will be given”
We should not think that there are some things too big to pray for. Ask for God-sized answers.
6) Positively–Luke 11:11-13, 7:1, 8:48; Matt. 8:5-13 “How much more will your Father give to those who ask”
We pray believing that we have already received. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24
7) Penitently–Matt. 6:17-18, 17:21 “When you fast”
We should pray humbly, penitently and with contrition, as shown in fasting. Notice Jesus did not say, “If” but rather “When”.
8) Purely–Matt. 6:5, 21:13; 23:14; Luke 6:28 “Do not be like the hypocrites”
We discussed this last week with the eight woes Jesus listed in Matthew 23. God wants us to worship and to pray with sincere hearts.
9) Publicly–John 11:41-42; 6:11 “Jesus…said, ‘Father… because of the people who are standing by, I said this.’”
There are times for private prayer and times for public prayer. Public prayers are actually encouraging for others and shown not only by Jesus but also numerous times in the Old Testament.
10) Passionately–Luke 10:21; Heb. 5:7 “Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit” / “with vehement cries and tears”
Jesus prayed with weeping, laughter and with loud cries. Prayer time with Jesus was surely moving and emotional.
11) Periodically–Mark 1:32-35; 6:46; Luke 6:12-16; Matt. 26:36-46
Jesus prayed before and after major periods of His life, such as before His selection of the 12 disciples, in times of great sorrow, such as the loss of John the Baptist, and of course most famously before His crucifixion in Gethsemane).
12) As a Pattern for us to follow–Luke 11:1-2 shows that because of the pattern in which Jesus prayed, His disciples asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” I can imagine that this request was made by John or Andrew, both of whom were disciples of the Baptizer. The Lord’s prayer, found also in Matthew 6:9-13, is truly a model prayer and His pattern of prayer is one which we should follow.