Jesus' disciples asked him, "Teach us to pray."
Jesus' answer has become the most well known prayer in Christainity.
It's entitled "The Lord's Prayer."
“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9–13 KJV)
The Lord's prayer is so familiar that you may have just skipped the paragraph above. You already know it. Why read it again?
Most who have memorized it have done so in the King James Version, a 1611 translation of the Bible that has shaped the English language for the last 400 years. While the language of the KJV is rich and poetic, most modern readers stumble upon the King's English used in the 17th century.
So while many have memorized this prayer, our familiarity may have replaced its function: to teach us to pray.
Teaching always requires a distubrance in our equilibrium. You don't learn without replacing or moving beyond the status quo. Rather than teaching us, often the Lord's Prayer has itself become simply rote rehearsal.
Today, this prayer seems timid and pious, but this was not how Jesus' disciples heard it. In the first 2 words, their veiw on God was challenged. When they heard Jesus say "Our Father..." their eyes (if already closed) would have opened wide in bewilderment.
While the New Testament was written in Greek, we know that Jesus and the people of Judea spoke Aramiac. It was in Aramaic that Jesus spoke of his Father. Yet, most likely he didn't say "Father."
To address the King of the universe, Jesus chose a much more informal title: "Abba." Abba is aramiac for "Daddy." It is a term of endearment, used towards one's father, but not about one's father.
Abba used to talk to the Almight God may be mistaken as irrevent, much like if I began a public prayer with "Heavenly Daddy..."
You just don't say things like that. Unless you are not talking about God, you are talking to God. A God who loves you, wants to be with you, and see you grow.
Many of our prayers are memorized, rehearsed, and lacking in depth. Perhpas because we focus on WHAT we are saying rather than WHO we are saying it to. Perhaps we need to ask Jesus again, "Teach us how to pray."