If the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, then the logical conclusion we can come to, is that prayer can be taught. No, I am not talking about formulaic prayers we memorize as children, or prayer books from which we read every night. If we desire to learn how to pray as the Disciples of Christ did, then all we need do is ask Him to teach us, with true desire and sincerity of heart, and in His goodness, via the Holy Spirit He will do just that.
Many believers want to be taught, but at the same time are reticent because they are afraid of what they might learn. There is always familiarity with the status quo, as well as a certain level of trepidation toward anything new, especially something we know will require exertion on our part. We like things the way they are, but one glance at the current state of the church will confirm, and vividly so, that we can’t afford to remain in the condition we are in.
Yes, often times the word of God contradicts our preconceived notions of certain doctrines or practices, and when this occurs we have no choice but to lay aside our own opinions and embrace the truth of God’s holy word.
The literal translation of the word disciple is learner. If we are in word and deed disciples of Christ, then we learn that which Christ teaches us, and practically apply it to our lives. Jesus is the greatest teacher to have ever walked the earth, and also the most thorough teacher to ever exist. He leaves nothing to chance, He holds nothing back, and if we desire to be His disciples we must humble ourselves, submit to His authority, and learn from Him.
Beyond the literal definition of disciple, beyond being a learner, a true disciple is also an adherent, or an imitator of their master. In short, disciples learn the teachings of their master, but also imitate his actions, doing that which their master does, in the hopes of becoming like him.
Being a disciple of Christ requires more than throwing a dollar in an offering plate, or going to church when we have nothing better to do. Being a disciple of Christ requires a lifelong and protracted commitment, it requires self-renunciation and it requires complete obedience of Him.
If we are disciples of Christ, then we must imitate Christ, living as He lived, doing as He did, obeying what He taught, that we might become and be able to do that which He promised us we would.
Rather than being His disciples, many believers today desire to be co-equals with Jesus. They want to pick and choose which of His teachings they will receive, which of His teachings they will attempt to tweak, and which of His teachings they will dismiss altogether.
Men who would disregard or attempt to distort the teachings of Christ are not His disciples, for they have no desire to be taught by Him, or learn from Him, but rather their desire extends to having their own notions and ideas justified and rubber stamped by Him.
I for one, desire to learn from Jesus! I know my limitations, I know how limited my intellect is, and I know that in and of myself I will never come to the full knowledge of truth. My life is His, my heart is His, and I will follow where He leads, obeying what He commands.
Make no mistake, this series will be a lengthy and in depth exploration of prayer. As such, I would stipulate that only those who desire to be true disciples of Christ, those who desire to be learners and adherents begin this journey with me.
In the age of the tweet, wherein one must get a message across in fifty words or less, lengthy studies on any given topic are as popular as the plague, but certain aspects of our spiritual walk necessitate more than just a few minutes of our time, or a quirky saying hurriedly typed out on a mobile device. Prayer is one such thing.
There is nothing more dangerous within the Body of Christ than ignorance. Due to ignorance of God’s word, due to ignorance of God’s will, many a soul wander about in a daze, powerless and impotent, neglecting the fundamental necessities of a life in Christ, while whittling away the hours and days and weeks and months and years with irrelevant follies that do nothing to build up their spiritual man.
It’s human nature to desire maximum results for minimum efforts. From millions of people who buy machines which essentially electrocute them, burn their skin, and make them smell like pork rinds for the promise of flat abdominals without breaking a sweat, to those who believe wearing a metal bracelet on their wrist will somehow improve their balance, posture, and energy levels, everybody wants results, but nobody wants to put in the effort.
Sadly, this mentality extends to the house of God as well, wherein we all want to be scholars, and teachers, theologians and apostles, walking in power and authority, rebuking the devil and casting out demons, but very few put in the time to study the word of God, and know what is required to receive, achieve, and walk in such calling or authority.
Before we can run we must learn how to walk, and before we can walk we must learn how to crawl. Before they were apostles, those who asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, were His disciples. Before they became the fearless ambassadors of the kingdom of God, they were learners and adherents, sitting at their Master’s feet.
There is no better teacher than Jesus, nor is there a better place from whence we glean wisdom and knowledge than the word of God.
There is only one Rabbi, only one teacher, and His name is Jesus. I am in awe of Him, I worship Him, I serve Him, and so this journey will not be me teaching you, it will be Him teaching us through His word, and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
May the Lord teach us to pray as He taught His disciples, for prayer is the key that unlocks the storehouse of God’s many blessings.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.