READ: Luke 11: 1-13
“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples’.” Luke 11:1 (NIV)
Perhaps everyone at one time or another has been asked by a child, “Show me how to do that!” Seldom does an adult make a similar request. Usually “grown-ups” will attempt to learn not by asking but rather by watching closely.
It is unclear exactly when in Jesus’ ministry the request to “teach us to pray” occurred and we do not know which of the disciples asked for instruction. However, we do know that this is the only recorded request for special instruction made by a disciple. Consequently, we can infer that “learning to pray” was considered of considerable value otherwise the request wouldn’t have been made.
Obviously, they recognized how important prayer was to Jesus and had witnessed the “power” resulting from His petitions. So they wanted to tap into this source for spiritual strength.
In reply, Jesus taught them the prayer, which we have come to know as the “Lord’s Prayer”. However, significantly He did not just recite the words but also supplied several parables to clarify the meaning of prayer.