The more we see of Jesus, the more we recognize our own emptiness. How far we have fallen from the glory of God! No wonder Jesus says that we cannot enter His kingdom unless we turn and “become like children” (Mt 18:3-4). We cannot make progress until we realize that we are like helpless babies in spiritual matters. Our praying is so lacking in strength of spirit, in consistency, in spiritual vision, in confidence and in effectiveness. When we recognize our smallness, weakness and ignorance—how childish we are compared with the Master’s maturity—then we are ready to enter the school of prayer. We become serious about learning. We too plead, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1).
Who better to teach us prayer than Jesus? He is the “one Teacher” and “one Shepherd” we follow (Mt 23:8,10; Jn 10:4,8,16). Despite His greatness, we watch Jesus’ complete dependence on the Father in heaven. We see Him apply on earth the principles of prayer that He knows so well from heaven’s perspective. We find Him matching what He teaches with what He does. We recognize Him as the supreme practitioner of prayer. He understands prayer completely from both sides, first from God’s side, then from man’s side. The divine and the human combine in Jesus to make Him the perfect mediator and the most qualified to teach prayer. So, we fully agree with, and share in, the disciple’s heart-felt plea, “Lord, teach us to pray.”