Luke 11:1-13 (AD 29)
Jesus’ blueprint for prayer is as well-known as it is ignored.
Not that we don’t ever recite it – in fact some people think recitation of the exact words is extremely important.
What tends to get ignored is that the first priority in our prayer life should be a desire, spilling into a request, that God’s name be glorified and his will be done (v.20). And I don’t mean the formulaic, ‘If it’s your will, please heal my friend who’s sick’. While that’s a decent enough phrase (reminiscent of Christ in Gethsemane) it can sometimes be a superstitious, rote caveat. As if God would become angry at our presumption if we didn’t first say, ‘If it’s your will…’. It’s quite OK to simply ask for your friend to be healed. God already knows whether it’s his will or not – let hime deal with that question.
Of greater concern is whether we are indeed willing to praise and glorify God when His will doesn’t match up with our requests – that’s an aspect of faith worth praying for. And that’s the focus on of the Lord’s Prayer that tends to get glossed over.
When we lose this aspect of prayer – the priority of God’s glory – the rest of our prayer life goes off-balance. If the front of your mind isn’t filled with God’s glory, then other things take its place – OUR priorities take its place. Imagine missing out the first two of the Ten Commandments – somehow the others don’t seem so compelling without those first two about God in there.
With God’s glory our focus as we pray, remember that most of Jesus’ answer to “Lord, teach us to pray” wasn’t the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ itself. That was just the first part. Verses five to thirteen are an encouragement – still in answer to that question – that God the Father can, does and will listen to and respond to the prayers of his people (v.5-13).
The focus of God’s ‘Yes’ to our prayers, Jesus said, is that God will “give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (v.13). A gift that every Christian since Pentecost has received, and a gift we need regularly to ask for, as it’s Holy Spirit’s active role in our lives that makes us more like Jesus. When we want to glorify God, we want the Holy Spirit to work in our lives to make us more like Jesus. And when we ask God for the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, he says yes.
Desire God’s glory in the world.
Aim to glorify God in your life.
Pray for Holy Spirit to bring glory God through you.