Prayer is a great blessing from God. Think about it: through prayer we are promised that we have the attention of the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe! It is through prayer that we make our wants, wishes, petitions, thanksgivings, pains and joys known unto God. It is through prayer that we make amends with God by asking for His forgiveness when we sin. It is through prayer that we can receive the peace that passes all understanding. Combined with Bible study and worship, prayer is the means by which we develop our relationship with God - a relationship that will last into eternity. With that being said (and much more could be added to this list), how many of us pray like we should?
"Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples'" (Luke 11:1). This is the only time the gospels record the disciples asking Jesus to teach them something. By watching the example of their Lord, these men knew they had much to learn about prayer. By asking to be taught we know these men were not content to stumble through their attempts to pray, but desired to learn how to pray in the proper manner.
As this New Year begins, I am going to use the front page of our bulletin as a space devoted to teaching on the subject of prayer, with the desire that it will help every one of us learn how to pray more effectively. I plan to look at the Lord's model prayer, the Lord's prayer life, and the Lord's teaching regarding this important subject. I believe this will be time well spent, for it is the Lord's will that "men always ought to pray and not lose heart" (Luke 18:1).