Bible Stories for the Young

Talking to Daddy

Jesus Teaches Us How to Pray

 

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Talking to Daddy : Jesus Teaches Us How to Pray

One day Jesus was in a particular place praying. Afterwards, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray.”

Jesus smiled and said to them, “Okay. When you pray, don’t be like the phony hypocrites; they love to stand and ‘pray’ in the religious building and on the street corners so that other people will see them. But being seen by men is the only reward they’ll get from that.

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, don’t repeat the same words over and over and over again like the people who don’t know God do. Using lots of words is not what makes God hear you (for your Father knows what you need even before you ask Him).

“Instead pray like this.“ Then Jesus lifted His eyes to Heaven and said, “Our Daddy…”

Did you know?

I know you’re so excited to hear what Jesus is going to say next, but I have to stop right here and tell you: Hearing Jesus begin with “Our Daddy” would have made Jesus’ followers’ hearts skip a beat. Talking to God as Father was not something they were used to. And Jesus didn’t use a stuffy or stiff word like saying, “Our Father who art in Heaven.”

Instead Jesus used a warm and affectionate word, like we might say “Daddy!” or “Papa!” And even more importantly, Jesus didn’t just say, “My Daddy,” but He said, “Our Daddy.” He was teaching them (and us) that God is not only God, but He is their Daddy too. That had to have been SO exciting the first time they heard Him say it.

Our Daddy. I imagine Jesus peeked around at each of those people sitting around Him just to see the looks on their faces.

“Our Daddy, may Your name be treated as special and so other, other, otherly different. May Your Kingdom come and what You want be done. Let things here on earth become just as they are in Heaven.”

(I just know these words made their spirits soar. This would have been what they wanted more than anything.)

“Give us the food we need for each day. Forgive us for all the bad things we have done to You, as we choose to forgive people who have done bad things to us. And help us to not even think about doing bad things, but save us from that evil, conniving satan that wants us to do the bad things. The kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours forever. Amen — let this be so!”

And that is how Jesus taught them to pray. He didn’t teach them WHAT to pray. He taught them HOW to pray. He didn’t teach them words they needed to say and repeat over and over and over again, or memorize. In fact, remember how He specifically warned them not to do that. Instead, He taught them to talk to God, as their Father, from the heart. These were not religious words He was giving them to repeat. It was a path into Life with God!

Teaching us to talk to our Daddy with affection from the heart. Teaching us to recognize His Holiness and to be respectful. Teaching us to talk to Him about His Big Plan and what He wants to happen on this earth. Teaching us we can ask Him about our needs, and ask Him to forgive us and keep us out of evil trouble. And then, just teaching us to be a worshipper.

Then Jesus said even more to them. He said, “Let’s pretend you have a friend, and you go to him in the middle of the night and say to him, ‘Friend, please lend me three loaves of bread, because another friend of mine has stopped here while on a journey, and I have no food to give him.’

“Your friend in the house is not going to get up and open the door for you. He’s going to say, ‘Don’t bother me right now. The house is already locked up, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’

“But even though the man inside will not get up and give you anything just because you’re his friend, if you keep knock, knock, knocking, eventually the man will get up and give you whatever you need.

“So I’m telling you: Ask and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock and keep on knocking, and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and the one who knocks, gets the door opened!“

Did you know?

Have you ever lost a favorite toy? And because you KNEW it was there somewhere, and because you wanted it badly, you just wouldn’t give up looking for it? You have to look for Jesus like that, with ALL your heart — knowing He is there and wanting to find Him very badly, so you won’t stop looking.

If you think He isn’t really there, you might give up. If you think He isn’t worth it, then you might give up. But if you believe He is really there and is really worth it (and He is), then you will never give up. Never. You will look and keep on looking with all your heart.

So when you talk to your Daddy in Heaven, stick with Him. He’s there. Ask, Seek, Knock! Remember this promise that Jesus made, and look and keep on looking with all your heart, and you will find Jesus. He promised. So, I promise you, too.

(Do you know another way I know that He will open that door? Because He opened it for me.)