As a teacher, I am amazed at how Jesus was a master teacher. Without any training or degree from a university to know how to do so, He employed so many techniques to bring about the greatest retention of essential Kingdom concepts, such as prayer:
Luke 11:1-13 (NIV)
1 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.”
2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.'”
5 Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’
7 “Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’
8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
I. Prayer, Jesus had previously taught, was a private thing between the person praying and God. It was not to be done as a show, but this is not what Jesus was doing. A master teacher will model his teaching through his life. His disciples either saw Him praying or just knew that He had been, but Jesus, though without sin and despite being God in the flesh, allowed them to see His example of constant interaction with our Father. If He needed to pray in this way, how much more do we?
II. Knowing that Jesus prayed prompted the request from a disciple that Jesus teach them to pray. Next, Jesus laid down the principles of good prayer, a mixture of ACTS: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. Notice that Luke’s version is different than Matthew’s as it is not a rote recitation of specific words that tend to become meaningless babble after a while. But, we and the disciples need to understand the types of concepts that should be included in prayer.
III. Finally, Jesus as the master teacher illustrates the concepts of prayer and the relationship between us and our Father. There is no need to be timid when approaching God’s throne in prayer. Because God is a good Father, we can be bold in our asking, seeking and knocking. So pray!