Jesus teaches on Prayer/P.R.A.Y.

Lenten Devotions

A Walk through the Book of Luke

March 14, 2023

Luke 11:1-10; Matthew 6:5-15

Jesus teaches on prayer


Each day I do my best to begin my day with prayer time. Generally, I get up in the morning before my wife, Kathy. Next, I dress and head to the kitchen, where I set up a pot of coffee. I then either sit on our sofa or go to my home office.

At this point, I use my cell phone to begin my prayer time. First, I read the daily devotion from, as well as another, a subject-driven devotional of my choosing. Then, I pray. I pray about everything and anything weighing on my heart, as well as for needs and wants.

When I took my ministry classes in the 1990s, one of my professors taught the class an excellent formula for personal prayer. I encourage you to try it; it helps you organize your thoughts and guides you through prayer.

“Try the P.R.A.Y. approach of praying. When you pray, begin by Praising God for all He has done for you, including sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross.

After praising God, Repent. Ask Him to forgive you for all of your sins in thought, word, and deed. (Don’t be afraid to be specific, He already knows everything you’ve done anyway.)

Now it’s time to Ask. That’s right, ask God for anything, health, love, wealth, help on a test, even problems with a bully, anything at all. He’ll answer the requests you make that He feels are best for you and fit into His plan for you.

Finally, Yield to God. Yield means to be flexible. It’s time to ask God some questions. “God, what do you want me to do with my life,” or “God, how can I serve you better,” and of course, “Lord, help me to stay on the path you have set before me.”

I encourage you to use the P.R.A.Y. approach to start your day.

In today’s reading, Jesus teaches His disciples about prayer.

***************************The Point***************************

In today’s reading from Luke, Jesus teaches the Lord’s Prayer, as well as being persistent in our prayers.

‘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.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come.

Give us each day our daily bread,

and forgive us our sins,

for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.

And lead us not into temptation.”

And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything. I tell you, though, he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence/ persistence, he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, it will be opened.” Luke 11:1-10

Just as Jesus had completed some time in prayer, one of His disciples approached Him. He asked Jesus to teach them to pray like John (The Baptist) taught his followers.

This is an interesting question put to Jesus. He had already sent out the 12 and then the 72 as evangelists, yet now they come and ask Him to teach them to pray. Perhaps this teaching moment is not chronological and was introduced earlier. Nevertheless, here it is. This version of the Lord’s prayer is a bit shorter than the one Matthew writes about in his Gospel.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

 “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

 your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

 Give us today our daily bread.

 And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

 And lead us not into temptation. (6:13 The Greek for temptation can also mean testing.)

But deliver us from the evil one.6:13 Or from evil; (some late manuscripts one, / for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.) Amen.’

 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:5-15

After Jesus’ disciple inquires about prayer, He shares with him what we have come to know as, The Lord’s Prayer. It outlines how to pray, not what to pray for every time you do. (Take some time to read both versions (from Luke and Matthew) to understand Jesus’ prayer parameters.)

Jesus goes on to give an example of how to pray with a parable about a man who needed bread to feed a visitor at a late hour. This is not a story of kindness; instead, it is a story of persistence. When we pray, Jesus wants us to pray incessantly. This is why Jesus says in verses 9-10,

“And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, it will be opened.”

Persistence in prayer pays off. Jesus wants us to come to Him continually. He may not answer our prayer the first time, nor the second or even the third. But Jesus will answer our prayers in His time and in His way. He will take care of our needs and sometimes even our wants.

Our asking, seeking, and knocking never fall on deaf ears. Jesus hears our requests and will respond when the time is right. But remember, everything happens in God’s time, not ours.

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