As we approach the last week of our study, we return to learn at the feet of Jesus who Himself showed us how to pray. The disciples longed to pray like Jesus and in Luke 11 we see the prayer template He gave them. Jesus never intended for these words to be said exactly. Rather, He was giving them as a pattern for our prayer.
Jesus began addressing His Father (v. 2). Over and over again, Jesus addressed God in this way, as Father. It is important to note that this particular term for Father is Abba, which means “Daddy.” Like the prodigal son who returned or the daughter of Jairus when she was resurrected by Jesus, needy children address their father as “Daddy.” This may be difficult for some if the image of your dad is not pleasant. But Jesus wanted His disciples, and us, to know we have a perfect “Daddy” in heaven.
God is our Father, and He is holy. Jesus notes this characteristic of God first. And we, too, should take time to praise and acknowledge God for who He is before we go into our list of requests. Job learned this principle the hard way. In Job 38:1–18, he quickly learned that Yahweh is not of this world. He is set apart and holy.
Jesus teaches that prayer begins with a proper understanding of who God is. He then taught us to say, “Give us . . . Forgive us . . . and Lead us” (vv. 3–4). We are to pray for the present, the past, and the future. Jesus knows Satan wants to destroy your soul! If there is temptation there is a tempter. But by turning first to our Father, we can be given our daily need, be forgiven of our sin, and be led away from the tempter. So when you pray, say, “Holy Father, give us, forgive us, and lead us.”
>> As you pray today, use this pattern for prayer that Jesus gave His disciples. And, if you want to go further, consider reading Max Lucado’s book, The Great House of God.