Imagine if you had just heard someone pray to God in the most authentic, transparent, and intimate way. The disciples did when they heard Jesus pray to the Father according to Luke 11:1. In the same way as they, you would have just witnessed a man who got answers back from God and conversed with Him in a real relationship.
Sometimes we are so aware of the fact that Jesus is God Himself that we fail to realize that He also lived His life on this earth as a man so that He could be our perfect substitute and example (John 13:14-16). This is profound because as a man this means Jesus relates to God in the same way we can. It is only when Jesus prays in John 17 that He speaks so clearly of His deity and the connection He has in the Trinity. He truly is the God-Man.
The disciples could hardly wait until Jesus had finished before they asked Him to teach them how to pray.
"How do we do what you just did?"
"We want to relate to God like that!"
"We want to have a relationship with God like you have!"
It is important to realize that when the disciples were asking Jesus to teach them to pray, they were not asking for Him to tell them what to say or what lists to recite. The ancient world was full of that type of interaction with God, as we notice in Matthew 6:5-8. What they had just seen Jesus do was something completely different than they had ever seen or thought to do with God. He prayed to God in a very real, very personal way. They wanted to know about what Jesus had just done to be able to interact with the God of the Universe in such a way that reflected real relationship they did not have.
In essence, they were asking Jesus to show them how they could have the same level of relationship with God the Father and the Holy Spirit that they saw He had. In Him, they noticed a "realness" and an interactive communication between Jesus and God (the Father and the Spirit) that they were not familiar with. This is what relationship entails doesn't it? Communication, dialogue, presence...it's all here in these passages. What is interesting is that Jesus does not rebuke them for wanting what He had with God. He would tell them how to adjust their relationship with God so that they could enter into a level of real relationship and receive answers to prayer that they had never experienced before.
We'll look at this in depth more next week as we will look at three passages that give clear instructions about what prayer looks like in real relationship. I hope this series will be useful and beneficial to you in your spiritual journey. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know how God is working in and through your life. Keep learning and growing in wisdom and in truth; I'm confident that your greatest life is just ahead.
In His service,
Pastor Gil Stieglitz
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