Luke 11:1 – One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples." (NIV)
My friend was painstakingly peeling cloves of garlic with a huge butcher knife. (Women often use the nearest tool at hand, thinking they are saving time!)
"Why do you peel garlic like that?" I asked. "There is a better way."
"Will you teach me how?"
So I did. I took that huge butcher knife, turned it on its side, smashed each clove, and simply lifted the peeling from the pile of now-ready garlic.
Today's Scripture verse says that Jesus' disciples waited till He finished praying, and then they asked, "Lord, teach us to pray." Jesus had already told them to "pray for those who ill-treat you" (Luke 6:28 NIV). Luke has already told us that Jesus "took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray" (Luke 9:28 NIV). He goes on to tell us that they had seen Jesus literally transformed (or transfigured) by prayer. Now, for what feeble reason did they really want to learn? Because the other guys knew how — John's disciples!
Are we any different? We know we're supposed to pray. We've seen people's lives changed by prayer. But why do we want to pray? Does it really matter? The truth is that if we ask, the Lord will teach us.
The Greek word for "prayer" in today's verse comes in part from a root word "pros" which may mean "motion towards", "accession to", or "nearness of".
The result of our prayer is a moving toward God, a coming nearer to Him. We want that, don't we? After all, prayer is the nearest tool at hand.
Prayer: Lord, teach us to pray. Amen.