One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray…’ (Luke 11:1)
His disciples were with Him all this while and had seen Him pray. He is the Master in the art of prayer. Albert Barnes’s Notes on the Bible in my E-Sword writes, ‘Luke has taken notice of our Saviour’s praying often. Thus, at his baptism; in the wilderness; before the appointment of the apostles, he continued all night in prayer; he was alone praying; his transfiguration also took place when he went up to pray.’ No wonder his disciple asked him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’
When I was in school, I’m very poor with the subject of History. I just don’t get it why I should study about someone whom I didn’t know and why border to remember dates at all? (Do you still remember when was the date for Parameswara founded the Malacca Sultanate?) It was different for Beatrice, she loves to study History. She can ever remember names, places and dates. One day I came to her and said, ‘Beatrice, teach me how to study History.’ She taught me very well and I got a better result on my exam compared to my previous year.
I knew that I shouldn’t ask Sammy to teach me. He was also quiet slow and History was our worst subject. I must ask the right person. Just like Jesus’ disciples, they asked the right question, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’ to the right person: Jesus. Andrew Murray writes, ‘We can most joyfully say, “Who teaches like Him?” Jesus never taught His disciples how to preach, only how to pray.’
Having realized that my prayer life is weak and I knew that faith without prayer is useless – I surrender. I couldn’t develop this wonderful yet quite difficult discipline without His help. The true method of praying can be learned only by our being properly taught. Indeed, we cannot pray acceptably at all unless God shall teach us how to pray.
Teach me to Pray
by Henri Nouwen
Every day I see again that only you
can teach me to pray,
Only you can set my heart at rest.
Only you can let me dwell in your presence.
No book, no concept or theory will
ever bring me close to you
unless you yourself are the One
who lets them become the doors to you.
But Lord, let me at least remain
open to your initiative.
Let me wait patiently and
attentively for the hour when you will come
and break through the walls I have erected.
Create new doors.
Teach me, O Lord, to pray.
Come, join me in the School of Prayer and asked Jesus, the Son of God to teach us how to pray. ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’