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Luke 11 vs 1 & 2. “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

Jesus said, “When you pray, say ‘Father’ hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.”

Prayer is a most amazing thing. We do not think enough about its mysteries. We are so used to the idea of prayer that the wonder of us addressing the Creator of all things often bypasses us.

But think of it in this way. Why do we all feel we should pray, and indeed find ourselves involuntarily doing so, from time to time, even if we are not Christians?

It is because of the way we have been created. We are not merely flesh and blood. We are also spirit and soul. We are put together in such a way that we have an almost uncontrollable instinct to call out to someone who is higher than us, more powerful than us.

It is a sad thing that many people do not realise that when they pray they are engaging in an exercise which, although instinctive is often futile because no one is hearing them.

The wonder of prayer is that it is intensely personal and the instinct we have was given to us by a personal God who interacts with us on a personal basis. Prayer is an intensely personal thing, although it is true that we can also pray corporately.

True prayer is a result of a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. And when that true relationship is in place it becomes a meaningful exercise wherein we can be sure God is hearing us. But if there is no personal relationship, we have no one to pray to, except to call out to the great silence of the universe. We must have a personal relationship with God. When we are Christians, we can call him FATHER, as Jesus did.

That does not mean prayer is always easy, or that there is no mystery associated with it. That is why the disciples asked Jesus to “teach them to pray”. We all long for instructions so that we can articulate our prayers properly and enjoy the relationship with God.

But first of all we must be able to call him “Father”.