The Model Prayer
In our passage today, we find that Jesus had been praying, and that led to the disciples asking him to teach them to pray. Jesus instructs his disciples in the proper method of prayer and then encourages them to pray by showing them how gracious and generous God is in answering prayer.
This is a variation on what is commonly called “The Lord’s Prayer.” We probably ought to call it “The Disciples’ Prayer” or “The Model Prayer,” because Jesus told his disciples to pray in this way.
Disciples ought to pray this way, and only disciples have the right to pray this way. This is the pattern that Jesus gave to his disciples, not to everyone. This is a believer’s prayer, a disciple’s prayer.
Everyone can pray, and God has the prerogative to hear any prayer that anyone might offer to him. But God has obligated himself to hear and answer the prayers only of those who are his children. If you are not a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, then you have no assurance that God will hear or answer your prayers. Only if you are saved can you have confidence that God hears and answers you.
What is Jesus teaching us about prayer in this passage?