In Alliance Youth, we encourage families to pray as together! Here, you can find content created by our pastor, Fred Hartley, that highlights the biblical teachings of prayer. We challenge our families to spend one week on each chapter while doing the praying exercises together. We as a church believe that this is not only essential to our own relationships with Christ but essential to the Christ-centered family dynamic of the household.
"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" Joshua 24:15 ESV
Week one: Lord, Teach us to pray
"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.” Luke 11:1
"LORD, teach us to pray." tHis sounds like a harmless little prayer, only five words, but don't be fooled! This might be the most dangerous little prayer you ever say to God. It has the potential to radically transform your life. Once you learn to pray, there is nothing that God wants you to have that you can't receive from Him. This little prayer set in motion a whole new way of life for the disciples, and it may change your life, as well.
The disciples had seen many people pray, but they had never seen anyone pray the way Jesus prayed. His prayer life was alive, vigorous, and relevant. From this verse we learn several things.
Jesus' prayer was categorically at a higher level than anyone the disciples had ever seen.
John the Baptist taught his disciples to pray.
The disciples were hungry from God and eager to learn to pray.
Jesus responded to the disciples' request by giving them many useful prayer tools.
A. Jesus gives a prayer pattern.
"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.”" Luke 11:2-4
B. Jesus gives a prayer picture.
"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[a] he will rise and give him whatever he needs."' Luke 11:5-8
C. Jesus gives prayer promises.
"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. What father among you, if his son asks for[a] a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?" Luke 11:9-12
D. Jesus gives prayer power.
"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”' Luke 11:13
Jesus waits until verse 13 to fully answer the disciples request, "Lord, teach us to pray." In a sense, He is saying, "OK, you want to learn the way to pray the way I do; you need to learn how to pray under the influence of the Holy Spirit. That's how I pray." Learning to pray under the influence of the Holy Spirit is the only way you will be able to pray effectively.
"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." Romans 8:26
Hunger for God
"'Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:6
When the disciples said, "Lord, teach us how to pray," they demonstrated a sincere hunger for God. Hunger for God is a foundational kingdom reality. Hunger for God is the first work of God. To hunger for God is to not hunger for something from God, but to hunger for God Himself. All God's great men and women have demonstrated a hunger for God.
David: "O God, your are my God; earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You." Psalm 63:1
Peter: "Crave the pure spiritual milk." 1 Peter 2:2
Isaiah: "Come all you who are thirsty" Isaiah 55:1
This week get tother as a family and ask God "Lord, teach us to pray." Then pray for a hunger for God