Hey, my friend! Have you ever felt at a loss to know how to pray in certain circumstances? If so, you’re not alone. I’ve been there many times.
I find encouragement in knowing that the disciples experienced the same frustration. That’s why they said to Jesus, “Teach us to pray.” Jesus’ response was filled with grace. He didn’t berate or belittle them: “What’s wrong with you? Haven’t you figured this out yet?”
Jesus answered the disciples’ request, and He did so immediately. He’ll do the same for us when we ask Him to teach us to pray in a specific situation.
Today’s blog is an excerpt from my devotional book, Keeping Hope Alive: Devotions for Strength in the Storm. May it encourage you when you’re in a storm and at a loss about knowing how to pray.
Teach Me to Pray
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.” Luke 11:1 (NIV)
Sudden tension in a family relationship hurt deeply. In desperation, I resorted to telling God what to do: “I need you to convict and change that person. I need you to make this strife go away.” Nothing happened prayer-wise, but my burden grew heavier by the day. Everything changed the morning I stopped bossing God.
“Father, teach me how to pray in this situation,” I said, looking at a canvas print of my extended family. This thought instantly came to mind: “Paint what you want this relationship to look like on the canvas of our hearts.” A half dozen insights about God’s role as master artist followed. Each reassured me that he would heal the hurt in his time and way. I was to trust him, practice patience, and accept the outcome. My burden lifted, and peace took its place.
Are you like me—telling God how to fix your circumstances? It’s time to let him be boss. Ask him to teach you how to pray.
Are you bossing God through prayer or letting him be boss?
God, you are all-wise. Please show me how to pray in this situation.
“The prayer we know as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ came from the Lord Jesus in direct response to His disciples’ request: ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ It has always fascinated me that they never asked Jesus to teach them to preach. They never asked Him to teach them to give or to witness. Perhaps, like us, the disciples were often at a loss when it came to communicating with the Almighty.” — David Jeremiah