New Hope UMC

1: Teach Us To Pray

May 9, 2019

Do we know how to pray? No, not instinctively says Dr. Albert Mohler, the author of our new Bible Study series. We must be taught. This study is on the Lord's Prayer, a short piece of scripture, found in both Matthew and Luke. You can buy books and take courses on how to pray, so why study these few verses?

Dr. Mohler gets us off to a good start with Lesson 1. The Prayer is a response by Jesus to a question by the disciples to teach them how to pray. These are religious men who have been around synagogues all their lives but apparently did not know to pray. This is our first clue. The disciples had to be taught and so do we. By the Master himself. He gave them the short prayer along with other advice, consisting of things to avoid. First, do not pray as the hypocrites do, standing in the synagogues or street corners, to be seen by others. Secondly, do not pray as the gentiles (pagans) with vain repetitions and many words. So don't pray to call attention to yourself and don't use flowery language. Then In Matthew 6:6, he says " when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

Each lesson includes a video lecture by Dr. Mohler of about 20 minutes. Kevin then leads the group in a discussion. There is no homework or suggested discussion questions. The videos are available on the internet on Amazon Prime or Right Now networks. There are 12 lessons.

I am referring to these as "lessons" which may not be an appropriate description. A lesson is usually accompanied by some work on the part of the student - preparation, homework, etc. These sessions are more akin to opportunities for experiencing the meaning of scripture, through listening to a theological heavyweight and through participation with each other. The subject is a few verses that became the most well known prayer in history. So we can come together each week to experience the massive meaning of this Prayer, its theology and how it serves as a guide for our own lives.