Keep teaching us to pray
Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” — Luke 11:1
Wonder with me how John taught his disciples how to pray. When most of us think of John the Baptist, we (hopefully) go back to our well-grounded Sunday school education. We remember John as the socially gruff one who ate locusts and wild honey as he wandered in the wilderness and accused unrepentant Pharisees of being a brood of vipers. In addition to being the one to baptize his cousin Jesus, John was also dedicated to prayer. In fact, he prayed in the spirit and in the power of Elijah.
John had followers. In the rabbinic tradition of the day, John was a teacher like Jesus. He likely was a very different teacher than Jesus. (Then again, maybe he wasn’t so different from Jesus. The two were cousins, after all.) John knew prayer was a central pillar in the Jewish tradition. In fact, first century Jews regularly participated in the prayer services of the synagogue and Temple, and, in speaking again of Sunday school education, the disciples learned the blessings, benedictions, petitions, and doxologies of Jewish prayer as youngsters.
I think we should still learn. I think we should still follow. I think we should still learn how to pray.
Tell me you agree.
PRAYER: Yeshua (Jesus), you and your cousin taught your followers to how pray. By way of the scriptures we read and study today, keep teaching us to pray. Amen.