Lord, thank You for this priceless prayer.
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.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near” (Isa. 55:6).
We have formed the picture of a band of disciples close to Jesus and sharing his costly itinerant life. This group is forming an identity, just as the disciples of John the Baptist did before. We can think of them as “Jesus people.” When they ask Jesus to teach them to pray, as John the Baptist has taught his followers, he issues a distinctive prayer—which we now call “the Lord’s Prayer.” We could call it a community prayer, since it helps to distinguish us. When we pray like this we are linking up with the entire Christian community, both dead and alive.
Understood so, the prayer takes on clearer meanings. The disciples have embraced poverty and are dependent on God for their daily bread. They need to remain harmonious and so must practice forgiveness towards each other and any who oppose them. They are living at risk, in danger from robbers and religious opponents, so they pray not to be put to the test, but to be protected. Above all, they yearn for the coming of God’s kingdom, when God’s name will be hallowed throughout the earth. Perhaps the most signiﬁcant thing is that, like Jesus, they are to call God “Father.” If earthly fathers know how to be generous, Jesus says, how much more will our heavenly Father give good gifts, and the Holy Spirit, to those who ask (11–13)? There is, therefore, every encouragement to ask, seek and knock at the door of God’s generosity with the assurance that there will be a gracious response.
Today we are sensitive to gendered language, especially when it can be interpreted to bolster patriarchy. The issue in this prayer is not the power of males but the tenderness and kindness of God. This God is near to us and is on our side.
Is there an issue on which you need to seek the Lord today?
Lord, Your people pray with an expectation that our Father in heaven hears and will answer.
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