And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, Lord…
I. WE NEED DIRECTION IN PRAYER. This is evident from —
1. God's greatness.
2. Our own guiltiness.
3. The importance of the subject.
4. Our weakness and aptness to go wrong.
5. The danger of mistaking and miscarrying in prayer.
II. WHAT RULE GOD HAS GIVEN for our direction in prayer.
1. A general rule in the whole of the Bible, where His will is revealed.
(1) It furnishes us abundantly with matter of prayer, in all the parts of it — petition, confession, &c. (Psalm 51:4, 5; Philippians 4:6). And whoso has the Word of God dwelling richly in him, will not want matter for prayer, for himself or for others. There is a storehouse of it there, of great variety; and we are welcome to the use of it, agreeable to our own case.
(2) It fully directs us as to the manner of prayer: as, for instance, that we must pray with sincerity (Hebrews 10:22); with humility (Psalm 10:17); in faith (James 1:6); and with fervency (James 5:16). And there is no qualification necessary in prayer, but what we may learn from the Holy Word.
(3) It furnishes us with the most fit words to be used in prayer. Do ye want words to express your desires before the Lord? He has given us His own words in the Bible, that we may use them according to our needs (Hosea 14:2).
2. There is a special rule given us by Jesus Christ for that end, namely, that form of words which Christ taught His disciples, commonly called "the Lord's Prayer."(1) The Lord's Prayer is given us as a directory for prayer, a pattern and an example, by which we are to regulate our petitions, and make other prayers.
(2) It may also be used as a prayer, so that it be done with understanding, faith, reverence, and other praying graces.Inferences:
1. How gracious and ready to hear prayer is our God, who has been pleased Himself to direct us how to pray to Him!
2. Let us acquaint ourselves with the blessed Word, that contains such a full rule of practice as well as faith; and study the Holy Scriptures, that we may be the better instructed to pray.
3. See the absolute necessity for prayer in a Christian life.
(T. Boston, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.