Luke 11:1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
John the Baptist is the greatest man naturally born of woman; the Bible says so. He is a hero in the eyes of Jesus, and one greatly used to bring revival throughout the wilderness of Judea. Without formal credentials, a reasonable church budget, impressive buildings, a rocking praise band, and really trendy haircut, he is able to make many disciples; he even builds a mega-church of sorts. And what are the tools of his trade? John’s ministry is centered around preaching, the sacraments, and prayer. John the Baptist is a leader who loves to commune with God, and he inspires his disciples to pray.
Jesus Christ is the greatest man supernaturally born of woman. He is greater than John, and through his earthly ministry thousands find themselves reconciled to the Heavenly Father. Yes, better than John, Jesus proves to be the ultimate, multicultural, megachurch minister with satellite campuses. And what are the tools of Jesus? He is a teacher like none other. He makes much of baptism and the communal meal. And he is passionate about communing with his Father in prayer. On earth, he is consistently engaged in private prayer, small group prayer, and corporate prayer. His public ministry begins with baptism and a forty-day season of prayer in the wilderness, and it ends with prayers in Gethsemane and Golgotha. Even today in heaven, Jesus still intercedes for his friends. Jesus Christ is a leader who loves to commune with God, and he inspires his disciples to pray — intimately, reverently, communally, daily, for things eternal, spiritual, and temporal.
Friends, are you a disciple of Jesus? Then watch what he did and what he does, and be inspired to pray. He knows the Father like no one else, and he can’t get enough of conversing in his Father’s presence. And since you are identified with Christ and made sons of God, you too have such direct, intimate access. Do not squander your opportunity to jump in your Heavenly Father’s arms, like little children, feel his embrace, and hear his voice of tenderness.
Leaders, like John the Baptist and Jesus, are you inspiring all those who follow you to pray? Are they watching your habits, hearing your voice, witnessing your adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication, and asking you to teach them how to commune with the Father? I hope they are.