How to Pray

Open to the Spirit

This devotional is written by Kat Beales.

Luke 11:1-13

Jesus' Teaching on Prayer

11 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 Jesus said to them, "Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.' 7 And suppose the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. 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; the one who seeks finds; and to the one 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!"


Shane and I recently celebrated our tenth anniversary. It's hard to believe we've reached this milestone - not for any reason other than I don't feel old enough! Over the years we have definitely got better at communicating, but we're still very much a work in progress. We've graduated from one of our first conversations where Shane swore at me (for good reason - long story) to really being able to share the deep things of our hearts with each other (when we're not worn out by toddler-dom).

Fundamentally prayer is learning how to talk with God. Often as our relationship with God matures our prayer life can get a bit lackluster - set phrases through overuse can lose their meaning. Let's be honest. It's a bit dull. Shane and I probably wouldn't still be married if we only ever said the same things to each other but somehow we expect our relationship with God to survive similar treatment.

I find the disciples' request "Lord teach us how to pray..." one of the most liberating verses in the Bible. Rather than assume that we know how to talk to God there's something very freeing in starting again and asking the Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray.

When we do this we give God permission to breath new life on our relationship with him - to teach us how to actually commune with him in a deep way. We should expect surprises... you might get caught up in a worship song, randomly start praying for an old school buddy, feel the need to say sorry to God for something... go with the flow. This is prayer that gives life to us.

Let's do this now.

'Holy Spirit, teach me how to pray'

WAIT / listen / follow the Spirit's leading...        

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