Praying and Preaching
Luke 11:1-2 One time Jesus was out praying, and when he finished, one of his followers said to him, "John taught his followers how to pray. Lord, teach us how to pray too." Jesus said to the followers, "This is how you should pray …
Do you know what’s fascinating? Jesus had His disciples with Him for about three and a half years during His public ministry. And those guys learned a lot during that time. Why wouldn’t you? Three and a half years in the best seminary you’ll ever attend. Eating, sleeping, walking, living, breathing out there on the road, through all its twists and turns, with Jesus.
Through word and deed, the Lord deliberately took every opportunity to teach them. They learned enough so that when He ascended to heaven, and after they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they were capable of kicking off this fledgling thing called … the church.
And yet, there’s no record of Jesus teaching them how to preach. Sure, they got to sit through lots of sermons. But these weren’t educated men. They hadn’t been to Bible college. They hadn’t gone through the structured lessons, as I had to, to learn how to put together and deliver a good message. So, no record of any formal instruction, anything beyond osmosis, in the preaching department. Odd.
But the thing He did teach them; the thing He did provide them with instruction on, was how to pray. How to pray, not how to preach. You’d have thought that preaching would be right up there on the list of priorities for this motley crew, but apparently not. Apparently Jesus considered it far more important, to teach them how to pray.
One time Jesus was out praying, and when he finished, one of his followers said to him, “John taught his followers how to pray. Lord, teach us how to pray too.” Jesus said to the followers, “This is how you should pray … (Luke 11:1-2)
“Lord, teach us how to pray” they’d asked Him. And so He did. In the verses that follow, we find the Lord’s Prayer that I guess, most of us are pretty familiar with.
But why did they ask Him that? Well, certainly it seemed that John the Baptist had taught his disciples to pray. We know that much. But maybe they’d also seen Jesus drawing away to pray over and over again. Maybe, intuitively, they knew deep in their hearts, that His mighty prayer life had everything to do with the power that God unleashed on this earth through their Jesus.
“Lord,” they said, “teach us how to pray.”
That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.