Ten Principles of Prayer We Learn From Jesus in Luke 11:1-13
I read about a small town that had two churches and one distillery. Members of both churches complained that the distillery was giving the community a bad image. And to make matters worse the owner of the distillery was an out spoken atheist. He didn’t believe in God one bit. The church people had tried unsuccessfully for years to shut down the distillery. So finally they decided to hold a joint Saturday night prayer meeting. They were going to ask God to intervene and settle the matter.
The church folks gathered on Saturday night and there was a horrible thunderstorm raging outside and to the delight of the church members lightening hit that old brewery and it burned to the ground. The next morning the sermons that were preached in both churches were on the power of prayer.
But the insurance adjusters promptly notified the distillery owner that they were not going to pay for the damages because the fire was an act of God and that was “an exclusion” in the policy.
The distillery owner was furious and he sued both churches claiming that they had conspired with God to destroy his business. But the churches denied that they had anything to do with the cause of the fire.
The presiding judge opened the trial with these words: I find one thing in this cause most perplexing-we have a situation here where the plaintiff, an atheist is professing his belief in the power of prayer, and the defendants all faithful church members are denying the very same power. Yikes!
Do we need to evaluate our prayer lives? From Jesus’ teaching in Luke 11:1-13 we glean principles for increasing our power in prayer. Before we look at each of these, let me point out a couple of things:
(a) There is always plenty of room for humility, when it comes to the topic of prayer. This is demonstrated in the request made by Jesus’ disciples in Luke 11:1. Was their desire to learn about prayer an admission to an awareness of deficiency in this area? It seems obvious that Jesus’ prayed with such power they wanted Him to teach them how to pray.
(b) Learning to pray is not an intellectual exercise. Jesus response was not a long discourse on various prayer related topics and concerns. Instead, His response was to say, “Pray like this…”
Just like these disciples, listening to Jesus pray is a lesson within itself with respect to how we should pray. We observe the following principles inherent in the prayer model Jesus presented this day.
(1) "Our Father" —Principle #1, Approach God with tenderness.
(2) "In heaven" —Principle #2, Approach God with awareness.
(3) "Hallowed be Your name" —Principle #3, Approach God with reverence.
(4) "Your kingdom come" —Principle #4, Approach God purposefully.
(5) "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" —Principle #5, Approach God submissively.
Note that everything up to this point focuses primarily on the ATTITUDE of prayer. That which follows seems to place greater emphasis on the RELATIONSHIPS of the pray-er.
(6) "Give us today our daily bread" —Principle #6, Approach God with a sense of humility.
(7) "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors —Principle #7, Approach God with a sense of personal awareness.
(8) "Lead us not into temptation" —Principle #8, Approach God with an awareness of our need for guidance.
(9) "Deliver us from the evil one" —Principle #9, Approach God with an awareness of our need for protection.
(10) "Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever" —Principle #10, Approach God with genuineness.
LET US PRAY WITH POWER!