Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
October 22, 2017 at 10:45 AM
Lord Teach Us To Pray

Lord, teach us to pray

Lord, teach us to pray
“…Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples…” Lk. 11:1
All of the World’s major religions have in common a
belief in prayer. While differing in the title(s) or names used
to denote there is consensus among the religions that
prayer is the medium through which believers commune
with their Supreme Being.
The sermon today has been planned as a study of
prayer within Christianity, one of the three religions traced
back to the posterity of Abraham, the other two being
Judaism and Islam.  Each of these religions has its founder
and time of corporate prayer. Within Christianity – the focus
of this sermon – the most widespread time is 11:00 o’clock
on Sunday morning.
Without any attempts to fully delineate all parameters

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of a worship service the three earlier identified religions,
this sermon will be confined to just dimension of worship in
Christianity which is prayer. The study has been entitled,
Lord, teach us how to pray. It will encompass the following
three foci: what is prayer, sensing the need for prayer and
embracing the practice of prayer.
Prior to addressing these components of the subject,
brief attention will be focused on the textual anchor for the
sermon. It was recorded by St. Luke, the physician and
Gospel. His book is one of the Synoptic Gospels and is the
third of the four Gospels. Luke has been described as “… a
man of learning and knowledge, and exact observer and a
faithful recorded”. (Herbert Lockyer ). He later became as
associate of Saint Paul. However, of relevance for the
sermon today is the 11th Chapter of his book; it starts with

a request from one of the disciples, who upon seeing Jesus    pray said unto him, “ Lord teach us to pray, as John taught
his disciples”. Jesus, without asking any questions,
immediately proceeded to give them the prayer model as
recorded in verses 2 through 4 of that Chapter. That
instructive model has withstood the test of time and is
generally known as The Lord’s Prayer.

Against this background, attention will now be directed
to the earlier three consideration of this sermon, the first of
which is – what is prayer? Probably, a brief description is
desired over a lengthy delineation of definitions for prayer.
From this stance, prayer is viewed as the channel through
which believers commune with their Supreme Being. It
can occur within various forms ( silent thought to oral
articulation and a private room to a public worship center.
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In one hymn, prayer is defined as the soul’s sincere’s desire   …a motion of a hidden fire… Prayer, is further referenced in
numerous hymns and general songs; some of which are:
Sweet Hours of Prayer, I prayed until I found the Lord, My
mother prayed for me, Let us pray until the Holy Ghost
comes, Prayer changes things, Pray your troubles away.
In sum, prayer embodies thought, belief, action, and
response. The disciples held such a view of Jesus’ prayers
and actions; hence, they wanted to become effective in
their roles so a request was uttered – “Lord, teach us to
pray’. Beloved, many Centuries separate us from the era of
the disciples, but we – too – must feel the need for and
embrace the Prayer Model that Jesus gave to the disciples.
This somber fact leads to the second consideration of this
sermon which is – sensing the need for prayer. It seems that

the disciples were somewhat perplexed by the limitation of
their power in relations to that of Jesus: they had heard him
utter the Beatitudes, they had seem him perform miracles,
they were present when he fed the multitude, and they had
received instruction to preach the Kingdom of God, and to
heal the sick ( Lk. 9:2 ).
While not rejecting Jesus’ order, the disciples seemed
to sense the need for a source of divine power. Hence, one
of them said unto him ( the Lord ) “…teach us to pray, as
John also taught his disciples”. It was in response to that
request that Jesus gave the prayer model. Beloved, that
model is but one phase of Prayer as taught by Jesus. The
other aspect is found in Matthew 6:5-9 when Jesus gives
the proper mind set for prayer: it includes none
“ostentatious”, personal privacy, none loud blabbing, and

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recognition that the “…Father knoweth what things ye have
need of before ye ask him” ( Mt.6:8 ).        Beloved, if the disciples – being selected and taught by
Jesus – felt the need to pray effectively, how much greater
is that need in our daily life. It is herein submitted that this
contemporary time in which we are living certainly
encumbers to be diligent, forthright, and continuous in our
prayer life. This somber assertion leads to the third, and
final, aspect of the sermon; it is that of embracing the
practice of prayer. It is an unfortunate fact that this 21st C
is overshadowed by materialistic, nationalistic, and
egocentric values. These and numerous other subtle
goals are gradually luring Americans away from a prayerful
approach to life. Accordingly, the daily modality of survival
is a reversal of the Golden Rule to read ( Do unto others

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before they can do unto you ). But all is not lost for there
yet remains the remnant committed to prayer and
supplication. In closing, a threefold modality is herein
suggested for being taught how to pray. The first one
occurs within the family usually between one and three
years of age.  It is a nursery rhyme – Now lay me down to
sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before
I wake, I pray the Lord, my soul to take. The second part of
this modality is to teach the youngster the Lord’s Prayer
Model and the final phase is to encourage the young person
to envision the process of thinking and/or talking to the
Heavenly Father. Amen.


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