THE GOSPEL OF PRAYERS
It's not difficult to label the book of Luke as the 'gospel of prayer'. More than any other book of the gospels, the gospel of Luke took time to expound on the prayer life of Jesus! Right from Luke 3 when Jesus was baptized the Bible said as he was praying the heavens opened up and there was an outpouring of God's Spirit upon Jesus thereafter a voice came from heaven and gave approval to the master! It didn't stop here. In Luke 4 Jesus went praying and fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. He came back to be tempted of the devil, but as he returned in the power of the Spirit he shaded Satan and put him in his place.
Luke 5 talks of how he often withdrew to the mountain to pray and whenever he comes back from this prayer time there was always a manifestation of God's power in signs, wonders, miracles, and healings. It was the same in Luke 6, he was in all night prayers as he prepared for the day's work especially in selecting the core 12 disciples that will work with him!
The mountain of transfiguration took the center stage in Luke 9 and there is a scripture here that we mustn't ignore.
"And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering" Luke 9:29 KJV
As the master prayed he was transformed, transfigured, change inside out, for even the garment he was wearing was glistening with the power of God. This reminds me of the scripture in 2 Corinthians 3:18, "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord".
Those who behold the face of the Lord are changed into His image from glory to glory. And though prayers we behold the face of our father! Jesus was always beholding the face of the father in prayers so much that one day the disciples cannot but resist asking him about his prayer life! This was what set the stage for the events recorded in Luke 11. There were other things in Luke 11 but we will focus on the Lord's teaching on prayer.
JESUS TAUGHT PRAYERS
Luke 11:1-13 is our text and we will read
"And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he asks a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"
A lot of things have been taught from this passage of scripture on the patterns of prayers, the model for prayers, how to pray aright, etc. I am not going to bother going through all of these again. What I want to point out is key principles and these principles may relate to prayer directly or indirectly or may just be general principles that work for everything that we do. There were lot of principles taught in this prayer lecture but i will only pick on five for this blog post.
1)What you model is easier to teach, what you live is easier to impart. The greatest tool leaders have is in setting the right examples of what they want to see in the people they are leading! In this case, it was prayers that Jesus wanted to teach the disciples. Up until this moment, Jesus never taught the importance of prayer, but he lived it in such a way that the disciples cannot deny its importance and were forced to ask one day, "teach us how to pray"
It is easy to teach when your students already have the motivation to learn. The motivation to learn however was provoked by the master's lifestyle of prayer! They saw it and knew the impact of what His prayer life was and asked to learn. Did the disciples learn Jesus' prayer life? The Bible has answers for us. As soon as Jesus left the scene they gather into the upper room and this was what they were doing.
'And when they came in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." Acts 1:13-14 KJV
One or two more scriptures to show so that this verse will not look like a one-off!
"And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness'
And just so we know that this prayer lifestyle was intentional they made it clear to everyone when.the church had the challenge of administration.
"But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word."Acts 6:4 KJV
They knew the importance of prayer and would not allow any form of distraction in the respect of doing that.
Jesus by modeling a lifestyle of prayer left behind a legacy of prayer. Our legacies are created not by what we say but by what we do! That which we constantly model in front of our followers will ultimately shape the legacies that we leave behind. Take a pause. We are all leaders in one way or the other, what lifestyle are you modeling for the people following. What spiritual lifestyle are you modeling for your followers, your children, your family?
Let's focus the subject on prayer for that is what we are on, are you modeling a lifestyle of dependence on God through prayers? Now imagine the whole Son of God needed to pray to succeed? Yes, we are all sons of God but he is the firstborn among many and still, he needed to pray to see success, how much more we will need that to succeed in every facet of our lives! There is no natural endeavour that doesn't require a spiritual backing and power. Through prayers we secure the spiritual backing and power for success in all that we do.
Read full blog post here UNDERSTANDING CHRIST: A Look Through The Book of Luke - Luke 11
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Understanding Christ: A Look Through The Book Of Luke - Luke 11
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