Then He was praying in a certain place, and when He stopped, one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray, [just] as John taught his disciples. And He said to them, When you pray, say: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come. Your will be done [held holy and revered] on earth as it is in heaven. Give us daily our bread [[a]food for the morrow]. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone indebted to us [who has offended us or done us wrong]. And bring us not into temptation but rescue us from evil. Luke 11:1-4
It is how to pray, not what to pray.
When the disciple asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, Jesus didn't say...repeat after me.
As a disclaimer, there probably isn't any harm done by repeating a prayer. There is little to profit either. Just like there isn't a lot of power in the ‘I'm sorry’ we tell our kids to say when they aren't that sorry.
Jesus responded to their request by giving us a model of prayer, not a prayer.
In Matthew, Jesus precedes how to pray with the following:
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your unseen Father. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not babble like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before asking him. Matthew 6:6-7
1) Just as Jesus was in a "certain place" in the passage from Luke, He instructs us to get away with the Father to pray.
2) The Father will reward you for your time with Him.
3) Higher word counts don't reward us.
4) Don't worry about remembering everything you need or reminding God because He is a Good Father Who knows what you need.
The reward from the secret place with the Father is learning about Him and His love for us.
How might you create the space and time to be with our Abba Father in secret?
How would your life and the life of those around you change if they could tell you had been with God?
Lord Jesus, teach us to pray. Amen