21 May Teach Us to Pray
Just before His Ascension into heaven, Jesus told His disciples to go to Jerusalem to pray.
Jesus had been crucified, had been buried, had risen from the dead, and now after forty days with His disciples, He is about to return to His Father in Heaven where He would sit down on His throne and where He would then do what He told His disciples to do… pray.
We read in the book of Hebrews chapter 7 verse 25, that Jesus Christ ever lives to make intercession for us. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” This means that right now, in heaven, Jesus Christ is praying for you.
In Luke’s gospel chapter 11 verse 1 we read, “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
It is interesting that one of the disciples of Jesus came to Him and said, Lord, teach us to pray… Of all the things to ask Jesus, of all the things to ask God, the disciple asked, “How do I pray?” So Jesus proceeds to teach His disciples how to pray.
Beginning at verse 2 Jesus says, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”
In verses 5-10 Jesus teaches His disciples on the importance of persistence in prayer.
In verses 9-12 Jesus teaches His disciples the importance of asking in prayer.
As we live in communion and fellowship with God, as we walk in the light as He is in the light, as we share our lives with Him and as He shares His life with us, we need to remember that our prayers are offer through our loving-mediator Jesus Christ and are heard by a good, loving heavenly Father. Who, when He hears our prayers, will answer our prayers according to His perfect love, wisdom, will, and according to what He knows is best for our lives and that will bring Him glory.
Then we read in verse 13 something that is both fascinating and interesting: Who Jesus says we should ask for when we pray.
In verse 13 we read, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
Again, the word ask. Ask Who? Your heavenly Father. Ask Him for Who? The Holy Spirit. And if we ask Our heavenly Father for the Holy Spirit, He will give Him to us.
For what purpose?
That we, like Jesus, and like His disciples, would receive the gift of Holy Spirit. That we, by simply asking God, we would receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit; just as Jesus did at the Jordan, and just as the disciples did while tarrying in Jerusalem, doing what their Lord taught them and told them to do… pray.
After His Ascencion, the disciples prayed in Jerusalem and Jesus prayed in heaven. I wonder what Jesus prayed… maybe He prayed what He told His disciples He would pray, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever”… and… “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
Lord, teach us to pray.
Heavenly Father, fill us with Your Spirit, and by Your Spirit draw us into a deeper, richer, more intimate communion and fellowship with You.
In Jesus Name. Amen.