I am encouraged by The Essential 100 Bible Guide. Many will be greatly helped by [the] choice of texts, insightful comments, and practical suggestions.”Charles W. Colson,
Chairman, Prison Fellowship
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Observing Jesus at prayer, the disciples probably realize that he's got something they haven't! So they ask: "Lord, teach us to pray" (1). Jesus responds with a theologically packed pattern for prayer (2-4).
The efficacy of prayer does not depend on the one who prays, but on the One prayed to: the Father (2). So Jesus focuses on the nature and character of God: his holiness, his kingdom (2), his provision for human need—both material (3) and spiritual (4), his constant availability and readiness to help (5-8), his willingness to respond to all who turn to him (9,10), his unfailing goodness (11,12).
We don't need formulas or techniques, only to be in a relationship that entitles and enables us to call God "Father," and then express to him our praise, thanks, repentance and needs. Yet such is human frailty that we cannot even do this on our own. So the Father has given us his Spirit (13b). It is the Spirit who teaches us to pray as we ought and who, when we fumble for words, "intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express" (Rom. 8:26).