(Jennifer Kennedy Dean) Jesus, as a rabbi, chose disciples into whom He would pour His life—not just teach them information, but disclose His heart. These disciples observed Him in every setting. They had backstage passes to His most intimate moments. They were welcomed into His private dealings. Jesus’ disciples—with all this up close access—made a connection between His life of prayer and His life of power, and they asked Him to teach them to pray.

It was customary for a rabbi to teach his disciples to pray. It was expected. It was part of the curriculum. They had many formalized prayers that were said in certain settings at certain times of day, but each rabbi would teach a more personal form of the standard prayers to his disciples. Notice how Jesus’ disciples included in their request that He teach them to pray, “… just as John taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1). It was a rabbi’s job to teach his disciples to pray like he prayed. They taught index prayers, or bullet point prayers, exactly like the form of Jesus’ model prayer. These rabbi-taught prayers got to the heart of what the rabbi believed significant, and they encapsulated the topics he felt to be essential. How a rabbi taught his disciples to pray said much about the heart of the rabbi. READ MORE