The disciples had the amazing privilege of getting to know Jesus really well. They did life together, they eat together, journeyed the dusty roads of Israel together. They were the ones who got to listen when Jesus talked to the crowds about the Father, they were on the front row when Jesus spoke about the kingdom and they even had the opportunity to receive private tutorials. They even got to witness all of the miracles, healings and deliverances which Jesus did.
In the context of all of this they come to Jesus with a request: “Lord, teach us to pray…” (Luke 11:1). They did not ask to have a lesson on how to heal people, or even how to construct and use parables as an effective teaching aid. They simply wanted to know how to pray.
The disciples had lived with Jesus and seen his life and lifestyle in a close intimate manner. They were the people who knew Jesus the best (though they did not really understand him) and they knew that prayer was something that made Jesus different. Prayer was a vital part of Jesus’ life. It was a priority for him. The disciples could see that and so they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray.
Jesus does just that, He begins with the Lord’s prayer, but does not stop there. He talks about boldness in prayer using the picture of a friend arriving unexpectedly at midnight. He reminds them of the need for persistence in prayer, Ask, Seek and knock and he spoke of the Fathers willingness to answer the requests given with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus made prayer a priority in his life and he taught his disciples to do exactly the same. If you glance through the book of Acts, you can see one of the top priorities of the believers was prayer.
It must have been so wonderful to have that closeness with Jesus that the disciples had. But prayer makes that relationship possible for us today. As we make prayer a priority in our lives, an integral part of our daily routine we are drawn into a deeper and closer relationship with him, just like the disciples had. “Come near to God and he will come near to you” (James 4:8).
It’s one of the greatest privileges we have in prayer, growing in relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
But unless we take the time to schedule it, it won’t happen. We make the time for the things we think are important. But how often do we schedule time to be with God in prayer. The busier life gets, the more important that scheduled time becomes. Have you scheduled a time of prayer today?