Jesus had already taught the disciples how to pray (Matthew 6:5-15). But as they began to really understand how important prayer was to Jesus’ own life, and how it kept Him in contact with God (Luke 9:28-31), they were stirred up to ask Him about it once again.
Jesus basically repeated what He had said to them before, providing a framework for prayer with an understanding of Providence. Yet this wasn’t a clinical lesson on technique. We must avoid taking this pattern and using it in a hypocritical or superstitious way. The phrases point to the frame, the concepts, which are more than mere words. It is not about simply repeating the phrases, or just believing that if we cover the concepts God will make our lives just right.
The proof of that is that they already knew these phrases, but when they asked Him again, He repeats the same basic phraseology. Then Jesus goes on to tell them a story about persistence (Luke 11:5-8). You see, it is not the words themselves, but the concepts. Even then, it is more than that; the heart relationship behind them is what God is after. Repeating phrases can be helpful, but only if they are heartfelt. The concepts must be met with conviction.
The subject of prayer is vast and vital, and it can yield a rich dimension to our spirituality and daily lives in a way nothing else can. Don’t be overwhelmed by the subject of prayer; instead, consider it an inexhaustible treasure. Keep doing it; God likes it, and so will you.