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Get This Right

Prayer is our most important discipline. Luke 11.1-13

Luke 11 (7)

Pray Psalm 119.17, 18.

Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word.
Open my eyes, that I may see
Wondrous things from Your law.

Sing Psalm 119.17, 18.
(Open My Eyes: Open My Eyes, That I May See)
Open my eyes, Lord, let me see
wonderful truths to transform me.
I am a stranger here in the earth;
hide not from me Your glorious worth.
Deal with your servant graciously
that I may live obediently.
Open my eyes, Lord, let me see glory divine!

Read Luke 11.1-13; meditate on verses 1, 13.

1. How important was prayer to Jesus?

2. What are the main points of His teaching about prayer?


We must not be satisfied for our prayers to be merely a part of our Christian life. Something we do at some point during the day because, well, we should. Every Christian knows about prayer and knows that we should pray more than we do. And do it better.

But there it is. For perhaps most of us, our prayers could be described as perfunctory, powerless, and pitiful.

This is not what God intends. Prayer is the defining discipline of the Christian life, the practice every Christian must seek to improve (v. 1) and the means by which more of God’s Presence and power become real in and through us (v. 13).

Jesus taught that prayer can lift us to the heights of majesty and holiness, enwrap us in glory and mystery, unveil the vast sweep of Kingdom life, survey all the blessings of God, commit all our needs to Him, and remind us of His grace and of our need to be gracious to others. Prayer should be engaged with such a sense of urgency and constancy that praying without ceasing and in the fullness of joy becomes the norm.

We must get this right. Do we depend on such things as our church, the preaching we hear, our Bible study group or other Christian friends, or our built-up bank of Christian knowledge to give meaning and substance to our faith? While such things can help and should be part of our Christian journey, what we need above all else is communion with our heavenly Father, in the Name of His Son and our Savior, and in the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

That is, we need to pray as Jesus taught and as those first believers prayed. Make it your daily prayer to get this right, and your Christian life will never be the same.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
There is something so sweet about the scene portrayed in Luke 11.1.

Jesus was in a certain place, praying. Maybe it was a favorite “certain place”, a bit like Daniel’s, who prayed consistently and daily, multiple times, by his open window. In fact, his enemies knew exactly where to find him doing this thing because he did it so faithfully. “And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days” (Dan. 6.10).

So Jesus was in this certain place praying, and His disciples knew exactly what He was doing, and did not interrupt Him. They were polite and showed Him great respect by honoring His space and time with His heavenly and dearly loved Father, God.

And the disciples found this sight to be so pleasing, that “when He ceased” they immediately asked Him to teach them how to do what He was doing. Please, teach us how to pray!

Jesus even went so far as to suggest a way that the disciples could find a “certain place” of their own. “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matt. 6.6).

David wrote about such a place: “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock” (Ps. 27.5).
“You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues” (Ps. 31.20).

God, when speaking about the temple that Solomon built, said “My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place” (2 Chron. 7.15). We can assume that now, since we are without that beautiful temple, God will still see and hear us in the secret places of prayer in which we choose to meet with Him. The only warning we receive has nothing to do with place but has everything to do with the condition of our heart. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear” (Ps. 66.18). “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Is. 59.1, 2).

And the remedy? “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1.9).

Jesus wants us to have the same sweet relationship with the Father that He has. He showed us what it should look like, He taught us words to say; we are warned of the pitfalls of sin, and we are told how to fix it. And best of all, in the certain place that we choose, we ask for His Spirit. And He gives it. Jesus said, “And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (Jn. 17.26).

Why would we not want to get this right?

For reflection
1. How do you feel about your own prayer life? Could it be improved? Which of Jesus’ teachings in Luke 11.1-3 most apply to you?

2. Why is it a good idea to pray with other believers? Do you have a prayer partner or a prayer group?

3. How do you expect your prayers, for more of God’s Spirit, to be answered in your life?

"Lord, teach us to pray," is a good prayer, and a very needful one, for Jesus Christ only can teach us, by his word and Spirit, how to pray. Lord, teach me what it is to pray; Lord, stir up and quicken me to the duty; Lord, direct me what to pray for; teach me what I should say. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Luke 11.1

Pray Psalm 119.19-24.
Does your soul break with longing for the Lord? Ask Him to make it so. Do you find great delight in being with Him and in His Word? Pray that it might be so. Do you know fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore while communing with Him? Plead with God to help you get prayer right!

Sing Psalm 119.19-24.
(Open My Eyes: Open My Eyes, That I May See)
My soul with longing breaks for You;
all of Your judgments I would do.
For You rebuke the proud and the cursed,
who from Your Law have strayed, and worse.
Take from me all contempt, O Lord,
for I have kept Your holy Word.
Lift all reproach from me, O Lord – my soul renew!

Princes oppose me day by day,
for I continue in Your way.
I will Your statutes hold in my mind.
What great delight in them I find!
Lord, let Your testimonies be
light on my path to counsel me.
Lord, what delight You bring to me out of Your Word.

T. M. and Susie Moore 

You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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