Date: 19 Jun 2022
Sermon Text: Luke 11:1-13
Speaker: Ps Luwin Wong
Transcript In his book titled, “Prayer: Does it make any difference?”, Philip Yancey relates a story about a tourist who observes a devout Jewish man praying at the Western (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem. The Jew rocks back and forth with close eyes, beating his breast, sometimes raising his hands. When he finishes, the tourist asks, “What do you pray for?”
The Jew responds, “I pray for righteousness, I pray for the health of my family. I pray for peace in the world, especially in Jerusalem.”
“These prayers, the tourist asks, “Do they work?”
“Sometimes it feels like I’m talking to a wall.”
Have you ever felt that way about prayer? Like you’re not sure it makes a difference? That you’re not sure God really cares, or that he always answers. Maybe sometimes, you suspect, it doesn’t really matter. And you’re tempted to simply give up and grow accustomed a prayerless life. After all, if God is all sovereign, what’s the point?
Or perhaps you wonder, am I doing it right? If there is a right and wrong way to worship, if there is a right and wrong way to conduct baptism and the Holy Communion, surely it follows that there is a right and wrong way to pray. How then ought we to pray?
11 1Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
That is the question on the mind of the disciples at the opening of our text today. They saw Jesus praying, and they waited till he was done, and they asked him “Can you teach us how to pray?”
1. Pray submissively
Now the first thing to note is that these disciples are Jewish men. Yes, they may be a rag-tag bunch which included fishermen and tax-collectors et. al, but they were Jewish men nonetheless. Which meant that they prayed. They prayed on the Sabbath, they prayed during the Passover, during Pentecost, during Yom Yippur, during Hannukah, all the rest of the annual festivals in Judaism. And in additional to all that, Jews pray three fixed prayers a day. A morning prayer, and afternoon prayer and an evening prayer.
So, these men know how to pray. At this point in their lives, they must have prayed over 10,000 times. They know how to pray to God as Jewish men, but they want now to know how to pray as disciples of Jesus Christ.
as John taught his disciples.
John taught his disciples to pray, can you teach us to pray as your disciples?