May I Ask Who Taught You How To Prayer?
What is Prayer? The Common vs. Uncommon Answer – Part 1
What’s prayer? Did you know that most Christians (51% or more) don’t know what prayer is and how to pray? Since that’s the case, how much more uncommon is knowing what prayer is amongst the entire human-race? If you, a Christian, don’t know what prayer is, how then can you effectively do it? I’m confident that 9 times out of 10 a person who says they know how to prayer, do not.
Take the prayer test. Ask a family member to pray over your next meal or you do it. Ask them to pray over your life or a need you have, right there on the spot.
You will see how uncomfortable others are with prayer which is an indication that they don’t pray and possibly don’t know how. Knowing that, then how can one even get upset when one doesn’t get the results they expect? Heck (h-e-c-k) you can’t even pray over a meal which is something you should desire to do at each meal each day. It’s not a requirement, just a trigger to do something you should love if you understood what it, prayer is. Sounds like a less than mediocre pray-er ( person who prays), if you ask me. If you don’t know what prayer is and how to do it, then you need to understand that first before saying it doesn’t work. It surprises me at the number of people who say it doesn’t work and they don’t have a clue as to how it should be done. Well, I’m about to help you let God off the hook because it’s your fault and not His that you don’t know what you’re doing to get the answers He would love to give you. The next time someone says they prayed over some situation, ask them how’d they pray? What was the response they got back? And what did they do next? We’re just getting warmed up, so stay with me.
We didn’t learn this at church.
I need to do something I don’t often do on NoLongerCommon. I want to tell you a Bible story which might sound a little preachy, but bear with me.
One day the disciples happened to notice an unusual practice that Jesus had. He’d often get away to Himself. On this particular day, He found His way to a certain place. He had a designed spot He’d found to perform His uncommon practice, they called “prayer”. As He finished…somehow they had an indication that He was coming to the end of his “prayer” practice…one of the disciples made his way to Jesus and said these words, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
Now this phrase is quite interesting due to what it doesn’t say. The disciples didn’t say any of these words…
- Lord, teach us to pray like the people in the synagogue (church of their day).
- Lord, teach us to pray like my mamma and grandma taught their children and grandchildren.
- Lord, teach us to pray like the high priest during our Jewish festivals.
- Lord, teach us to pray like we’ve seen other ordinary people pray.
Instead, they asked to be taught how to pray like John who was quite the uncommon person. In fact, the people of John’s day thought he was extreme. We’ll save that comment for another day. But I will say this, if you pray and do it right, people will think there’s something strange about you.
Why would the disciples ask to be taught how to pray when they all grow up around people who were accustomed to prayer? I’ll tell you. They discovered that what they’d seen all their lives didn’t come close to being the same as what John and Jesus did. They’re idea of prayer was altered. They were introduced to prayer that produced results. And now that brings me to you.
Who taught you what prayer is?
Jesus taught His disciples, but who taught you? Ask yourself who taught you how to pray? Most will not be able to say they learned from the institution we call the church. That means the majority learn how to pray outside the church, no differently than the disciples. The only difference is Jesus taught them and I would have to say that Jesus needs to teach me and teach you.
Therefore we need to know what it was that Jesus said after His disciples’ request, “Lord, teach us to pray.” What will amaze you is that there are very few who follow the instructions on prayer that Jesus gave His disciples as an example to us all.
As a follower of Christ, doesn’t that make you a disciple too? Or did I miss something in the Christian handbook. He gave the guys that were with Him a mission to make disciples of all the nations. Isn’t that who we are the recipients of disciples who were making other disciples? So why are we acting like something other than what they were? He taught them to pray, why aren’t we following the practice He set? It’s time to learn how to pray for real.
I’m sure you want me to continue, but that’s all I can give you today. You’ll have to join us next week at the same place and same time. Thanks for visiting NoLongerCommon.com.