From my experience as a pastor and a person, I have to admit that I want nothing more than to pray. True, real, intimate prayer. There are few things I want more than prayer. Yet I also have to admit that nothing is more difficult for me than prayer.
Richard Foster describes my struggle better than I can. He says, “We today yearn for prayer and hide from prayer. We are attracted to it and intimidated by it. We believe prayer is something we should do, even something we want to do, but it seems like a chasm stands between us and actually praying.”
Luke reminds us Jesus “…was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.'” After ten chapters in Luke’s gospel, the disciples, who have been with Jesus, observed his prayer patterns and experienced the power of his praying. They come to Jesus and ask him to teach them to pray.
What motivated them to pray? Or to learn to pray?
In Luke’s gospel we get a glimpse of Jesus’ prayer life. It is related to the major theme of the gospel: “Jesus not only possessed the Holy Spirit but promised the Holy Spirit to his followers.” You see, in Luke’s gospel, the Spirit, the power that was in Jesus is the same Spirit, power, that is in the church. The power of the Holy Spirit, the power in Jesus and the Church, is directly related to prayer. In fact for Luke, power comes through prayer.
So, the disciples come to Jesus and ask, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
What motivates them to ask? What motivates you to pray?