Pray Like Jesus
// Tim DeTellis
As a child, I remember seeing my mother slip into her prayer closet down the hall of the church where we lived—135 Belmont Street in Worcester, Massachusetts.
My mother is a prayer warrior, and it is part of her everyday life. My father walked and prayed. I remember asking him about prayer. He told me he prays while he is on the move. I can remember hearing my dad praying out loud on a construction site in Haiti. He was continually asking God for direction in his life.
Recently, after seeing the movie War Room, I went into my closet at home and began to place Post-it-notes on the wall of people I am praying for. I have a friend who keeps a prayer journal and writes his prayer requests in a book he carries with him. I like that idea, because it goes with you wherever you go and serves as a reminder as to who or what you’re praying for. He also keeps a log of answered prayers.
Witnessing my parents’ prayer-life has impacted me, as they modeled a life of prayer. For the disciples of Jesus, they had a unique opportunity to learn how to pray from the Son of God. The disciples had many opportunities for this kind of encounter with Jesus, and they certainly asked questions. The one question that stands out as a historical moment for all Christians was when the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:11
Matthew 6:9-13 teaches us how to pray. “This, then, is how you should pray, ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name; Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”
Think back to when you were first introduced to the Lord’s Prayer. Is prayer important in your life? How important do you think prayer was in the life of Jesus? Even as the Son of God, He spent quality time praying to His heavenly Father.
As a follower of Jesus, this prayer places us in the same posture toward God as Jesus (Abba Father, God, my daddy). Luke 11:11 tells us, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?” Jesus wants us to see God as our Father, too. For some, the reference of father can be uncomfortable based upon our earthly experience with our own father. Jesus invites us to see God as our Father, and His name is above all names—holy.
All of the pronouns in the prayer, starting with the first word, are plural. The word “our” determines the nature of the whole prayer. It can be prayed in private, by individuals, or as a corporate prayer.
Now, more than ever, it is time for believers to pray. Wherever you are, you can pray like Jesus. Even though I am not there with you, I can pray the same prayer, too. What would happen if we began to pray daily? This prayer covers the needs of our lives and the world around us, asking for God’s will to be done, His kingdom to come, provision for today, protection against temptations and, finally a reminder for us to forgive others. Together, may we be a praying people, as one body united in Jesus’ name forever. Amen. ~Tim DeTellis