Our Father in heaven,
Lord, teach us to pray… What I wouldn’t give to be able to ask Jesus the same question. Jesus, show me how to pray. Jesus, what is prayer really? Jesus, how can I pray prayers that change lives? Mine included. Jesus, how do you pray? The questions are endless. I would be there asking questions about prayer for hours, even days, trying to steal as much knowledge from Him as I could. But the disciples had the advantage. They got to ask Him some of this stuff in person. Real time. And in Luke chapter 11, they ask verbatim, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them;
“When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.”
When you think about it, this is one of the most fascinating moments in all of Jesus’ ministry. There aren’t many moments recorded in scripture where the disciples just come out and ask for the cheat codes. I wish they recorded more of these moments that we know existed. Just plain Jane unadulterated honesty from Jesus. How to… whatever that thing is. But we get that moment here. How do we pray the disciples ask. And He gives us the Lord’s prayer.
This thing is so “easy” to understand on the surface, but when you really unpack this thing, there is so much depth. Like for instance the opener, “Our Father in heaven.” Up to that moment the Jews never considered or even conceived the notion of addressing the Father as a being in heaven. Jesus already unpacks ideals here that shake the idea or prayer. When you say “Our Father in heaven,” you’re describing His position physically in the universe. There is a recognition of His supreme position compared to yours. When you utter the words “in heaven”, you are already describing a being that is above you physically but also spiritually. We say these words like we say hello. But when you are truly contemplating this idea, “Our Father in heaven,” is really saying, “Hey God, our Creator and Caretaker that is currently watching over us in a Holy place in which I am not yet there, or worthy of being, hello.”
We use our own words to produce this same effect in our prayers, but the notion is there. How do you relate to your God in prayer? Not just with words but in recognition of physical position. Are you really taking in the idea that you are communicating with a being that is outside of this world in a Holy place receiving communication from an unholy being? Are you taking in the fact that you are about to share ideas, vision, and insecurities with the Creator of the universe who also looks at you like a son and daughter? Are you meditating on the fact that Our Father collectively is IN heaven? And that is just the first four words of this thing.
Prayer is so much. Almost too much to comprehend. How does prayer work and function? What is the mindset of prayer? The list of questions go on. Jesus goes on in Luke 11 to describe to us not only prayer, but the mindset of prayer, and even what to be praying about. This sabbath I will be attempting in the name of our Christ to tackle a few of these questions.
Connected to the Vine,
Pastor Victor Reina