Sometimes it can feel overwhelming trying to choose what to read out of your whole big Bible. Sometimes it’s intimidating knowing how to spend your quiet time with God when there are no prompts or guidelines. That’s why Collide’s Next Steps Coordinator, Michelle Holladay, wrote a devotion for every single week this year – so you can take the guesswork out of your devotional time and relax into prayer and reading. Join us on the blog each week for a new devotion.
Read – Luke 11:1-11
I grew up in a church where most of our prayers were recitations. I could say these prayers in my sleep, without even thinking about them. When I got serious about my relationship with God, I became quite averse to the idea of memorized prayers. I wanted my prayers to come from my heart and be sincere.
Despite my good intentions, I frequently struggle in the area of prayer. I am easily distracted; I never feel holy enough or eloquent with my words. During one period of struggle, I kept feeling myself pulled towards Luke 11 and the Lord’s Prayer. I resisted, not wanting to fall back into a mindless ritual. But when I read the plea from the disciples asking Jesus to teach them to pray, I realized I could not ignore this precious prayer. These were words from Jesus’ own lips in response to the very question I had been asking in my heart, “How do I pray?”
The thing which strikes me most about Jesus’ prayer is its simplicity – just 8 little lines in the NIV version, 34 words – but volumes are spoken in those 34 words! In 8 lines, we are shown the heart of God. This is how Jesus says we should be praying – let’s not miss the significance of this.
He begins His prayer acknowledging God as Father, speaking to the intimacy we are allowed with God and placing the focus exactly where it belongs, on His holiness and sanctity. He calls to mind God’s sovereignty, saying “your kingdom come,” not our plan, but yours.
The rest of the prayer points to three aspects of God’s character. He is our provider, knowing our needs before we even ask. He is our Savior, forgiving our sins and helping us forgive others. He is our protector, guiding us on the path of righteousness. Jesus shows us in His prayer the boldness we should have in coming before our Father, asking and expecting these things of Him.
I have grown to be thankful I was taught to memorize this piece of Scripture because now it is engraved on my heart where I can call on it whenever I need it. I often find myself praying through this prayer, except now the words have meaning to me as a beautiful guide, leading me to lay my heart bare in complete submission to my Lord. My challenge to you today is to read “The Lord’s Prayer,” from Luke 11 and make it your own.