**…One of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray….** Luke 11:1
Teach us to pray.
I don’t know if it is my current season of life, or something else, but it seems like Prayer has become a central theme in my day to day. I know too many people that are dealing with truly heart breaking circumstances. I feel concerned for them and completely powerless to help them in their suffering. So, I turn to prayer.
I wonder if that isn’t a core reason for trials and hardships. I do not believe they are sent to cause us unbearable pain, like some cruel joke. But I do believe that the Lord knows that this world is full of suffering and He hopes that in these moments we will reach out to him all the more. I think He hopes that we will recognize the heartaches of life as a consequence of living in a fallen world and not as punishment from him.
Because, in that pain, the safest place to be is at his side. In prayer. Pouring out our problems and seeking solution and comfort. Just like any loving father, the Lord wants to help, encourage, soothe our frazzled nerves, direct us to a solution, remind us of heaven and eternity and to pour out his grace on us to carry us through the toughest part of our distress.
So, when the disciple asked Jesus to teach them to pray, I think he was looking for instructions, which we see that Jesus gives him later in this chapter. But I think from the Lord’s perspective, He wanted them to understand that life itself was going to teach them to pray. And although He gives us some guidelines on what to say, what He is looking for more than anything is that we recognize that in everything, good or bad, prayer is the answer.
If things have been rough for you lately, prayer will help lift your eyes again to Jesus and find hope for a new day. If things are going great for you, then prayer will remind you of God’s goodness. The Lord is there, ready to hear from us, anytime, about anything.
Teach us to pray isn’t just about the guidelines or scheduling it or making it a super prayer. It’s about understanding that we have immediate access to him and we never have to wait for the perfect place, or style, or partner to reach out to our Heavenly Father. He is ready and waiting to hear from us, right now.