Thoughts about Lesson I of With Christ in the School of Prayer:
Only after “He ceased” praying did the disciples ask the Master to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1). The text does not indicate if the disciples were praying with Jesus on this occasion, only that they waited until he had stopped praying before they approached Him with this request: “Teach us to pray”. By this time the disciples had seen and heard the King’s prayer life often: in the wilderness and in the mountains, in private and in public, at His baptism and, now, with His followers (Luke 5:15, 6:12, 3:21, and 9:18). Up to this point, Jesus had taught His disciples many things but not yet had He instructed them pertaining to prayer: “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
This request is itself a prayer. Simple, unadorned, directed. It is a prayer born, as is all true prayer, out of poverty, a Kingdom prayer of “the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3). It is a prayer that will, when answered, satisfy those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6) . It is a prayer the Teacher will answer because it is admission of ignorance and dependency: “Teach us”.
It is also a prayer of boldness and confidence. Though the disciples waited until the Lord has ceased praying, they were not afraid to present Him this petition. Having asked, they did not doubt that their request would be answered for:
Nothing delights Him more than to find those whom He can take with Him into the Father’s presence, whom He can clothe with power to pray down God’s blessing on those around them, whom He can train to be His fellow-workers in the intercession by which the kingdom is to be revealed on earth. He knows how to teach. Now by the urgency of felt need, then by the confidence with which joy inspires.
Lord, teach us to pray! Amen.