TEACH US HOW YOU PRAY
Lord, teach me to pray.
Read Luke 11:1–13
Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer
11 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.”
2 He said to them, “When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.[b]
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.[c]
And lead us not into temptation.[d]’”
5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[e] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
a Luke 11:2 Some manuscripts Our Father in heaven
b Luke 11:2 Some manuscripts come. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
c Luke 11:4 Greek everyone who is indebted to us
d Luke 11:4 Some manuscripts temptation, but deliver us from the evil one
e Luke 11:8 Or yet to preserve his good name
f Luke 11:11 Some manuscripts for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhy do you think this prayer of Jesus has become such a well-known prayer in many cultures and used in both religious and secular settings?
It’s often referred to as the Lord’s Prayer: the one given by Jesus to his disciples. Some church traditions recite it at every liturgical gathering. In other traditions it might not be said regularly or it is deconstructed around certain themes so that it becomes a series of bullet points or general guidelines. The text, though, suggests the importance of praying the Lord’s Prayer regularly rather than only at certain times.
The disciple’s question (1) is met by the response that when they pray they are to say… In other words, this is Jesus’ way of praying, and in reciting these words we are repeating Jesus’ words and making the prayer our own. It really is the Lord’s Prayer, authored by him and most likely prayed by him and others twice if not thrice daily. Whenever we recite this prayer, we are praying with Jesus, speaking his words and aligning our will with his.
Some churches and communities use these Bible verses and other liturgical texts for their time of prayer. Others are more comfortable with spontaneity. Read through the prayer in Luke 11:2–4, pausing for reflection in each part.
Lord, help me to be faithful in my commitment to pray.
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