Day 2 – Our Father

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The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. – Lamentations 3:22-23

Day 2 – Our Father

“Lord, teach us to pray”- Luke 11:2-4

What did Jesus teach the disciples ?  What does he want to teach us?

Jesus steals away to find a quiet place to pray, the disciples look for him and discover him on the ground motionless utterly absorbed in prayer. They had never seen a man pray as they saw Jesus praying. They wanted to pray as Jesus prayed… after he got up, they asked him, “Lord, teach us to pray”

Jesus in teaching them to pray was teaching them about the very nature of God – Our Father. Familiar words, so familiar in fact, they are no longer real.

If you took the love of all the best mothers and fathers of human history, all their goodness, kindness, patience, fidelity, wisdom, tenderness, strength and love – and united these qualities in a single person, that persons love would only be a faint shadow of the love and mercy in the heart of God the Father addressed to you and me at this moment.

Jesus didn’t teach them the theological facts, which our twentieth¬ century bias would anticipate, he did teach them how to depend on God in every situation – and that is what he is teaching our hearts to do as well.  

Ponder how Jesus taught the disciples to surrender, to come to the end of themselves and trust in God.

The first time they met, Peter was cleaning his nets after a night of fruitless fishing. Jesus asked to borrow his boat so he could teach the crowds from offshore. When he was finished he told Peter to go out a little further and drop the nets. Peter resisted, since even with his best efforts he had already come up empty. He finally consented, though, and how much fun it would have been to see the look on his face when the net began to wiggle under the weight of his unearned load! Though this was the greatest catch of Peter’s life, he never sold it. He walked away from it to follow Jesus.

Later, on that same sea, the disciples were caught in a violent storm. Afraid for their lives, they awakened Jesus, and to their surprise he rebuked the storm and it subsided. But Jesus took them further. “Where is your faith?” he asked, hinting that God could have done the same through them.

To make his point clearer he sent them out on their own. He told them to take no provisions, to heal the sick, to drive out demons, and to preach the kingdom of God. On this evangelistic campaign media hype and flamboyant oratory would not suffice. The disciples needed the power and presence of God.

When they returned, Jesus sought to take them off alone, only to be pursued by a crowd of 5000 people. After he ministered to them all day, he told the disciples to give them dinner. Again he called them to think past their own efforts, and by a word of blessing he fed the crowd with a little boy’s lunch.

On another occasion the disciples couldn’t drive a demon out of a small boy. Jesus prayed for him, staying with him through violent convulsions until he was free. When they asked him why they were unable to free him, Jesus explained that the situation demanded more prayer than they had given it. They asked him how to pray, and he taught them to make sure you pray according to God’s will, and when you do so keep seeking until you break through every obstacle.

Jesus’ itinerant lifestyle gave him ample opportunity to demonstrate how Father can provide for his children. One time he even told Peter to get some money from the mouth of a fish. Even as Jesus’ life drew to an end, the lessons continued. He sent Peter to prepare the Passover meal, and everything that Jesus told them in advance came to pass. Even before Peter denied his lord, Jesus already saw the failure and encouraged him to get up after it was over and then return to strengthen the other disciples.

Jesus’ brand of discipleship was profound. It dealt less with facts than it did with learning to live in the confidence of a Father’s love. Through every need, failure, and joy he showed them that God’s wisdom and power were sufficient. Things didn’t always work out the way they thought it should, but God continued to fulfill his purpose.

Did they learn the lesson? Their last recorded words to Jesus in the upper room demonstrated just how well: “now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”
Jesus responded, “you believe at last!”
They had come to the end of their own reason and resource. They saw Jesus as the one to whom they could totally entrust their lives, not because he compelled them to but because he really did have all wisdom and power.

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Ponder and Pray:

Pray through the Disciples prayer (Matt 6:9-13)

(Read Rom 8:15 & Eph 3:14-21)

Is your personal prayer life characterised by the simplicity, childlike candor, boundless trust, and easy familiarity of a little one crawling up in Daddy’s lap?

Allow the Holy Spirit in your quiet time with him today, where He is teaching you to trust him – where is he asking you to deny yourself, pickup your cross and follow him.