Passover to Pentecost – Pray Week 7 Day 2
“Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11: 1 (NIV)
These five words in Luke 11 are nestled in between two powerful pieces of information and are at the beginning of thirteen verses about prayer. This example of how to pray is also found in Matthew 6: 5 – 15 that gives us another layer of facts about prayer. The fact that the disciples choose to spend their time of waiting in Jerusalem in prayer is the natural extension of what they saw Jesus doing as He ministered. The first fact in verse one is Jesus had finished praying when He was asked to teach them. The second one is that these ex-disciples of John saw the need for teaching on this subject.
Many of the references in Luke to Jesus praying mention a quiet place or Him being alone or with a small group; Matthew records Him telling people to pray in private. So when we read that the disciples are “hidden” in the Upper Room praying that makes sense.
What were they praying about? A possible topic of pray for the 120 saints in the Upper Room may have been forgiveness. I might guess that the period of ten days may have been pretty intense. Jesus was killed, and then He was alive just too ascended, and be gone one more time. He promised them to send a Counselor to them to walk with them as they spread His message. Okay, why forgiveness? Matthew records in 6:15 as Jesus taught about pray that if you do not forgive the Father will not forgive you; then John in 20: 22 + 23 that as Jesus breathed on them the Holy Spirit He mentioned about the forgiving sins. These verses do make forgiving people a priority.
I will jump to Paul as he is teaching the Corinthians about things of the Spirit, chapter 12 is on spiritual gifts and how the Body is joined and related. He ends that chapter by saying here is the most “excellent way.” (For those you dismiss 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14 as not for this time. Why would Paul/ the Holy Spirit bother to include it at all?) Paul knew that you needed to use spiritual things in love in order to fulfill the Great Commission.
Forgiveness is something that we have to choose to do. I am finding out that many times it is more important to the one doing the forgiving than the offending party. In that highly charged atmosphere that they had just been in for two months forgiveness may have been on their minds; because to spread the message of the kingdom effectively you should not be harboring forgiveness.