Jesus Teaching on Prayer
Luke 11:1-13 – January 2, 2022
When we look at Jesus teaching on praying, we can look at Luke 11 or Matthew 6, but they are quite different and each has a distinct unique context. The prayer is very similar in both, but there are differences. The differences show it was not to be used as a precise ritual or magic formula for prayer.
Luke 11:1. What does this request of one of his disciples reveal? First, they either did not know or were unsure about how they were to pray – especially to their heavenly Father. Secondly, they may have been jealous that John the Baptist’s disciples knew how to pray and they did not.
The question was not teach us how to pray, but teach us to pray. In teaching them to pray, Jesus not only gives them a prayer, a version of what we know of as the Lord’s prayer, but examples that teach them to pray.
Luke 11:2-4. Father, is an intimate term and there is no record of anyone using this term to address God prior to Jesus. hallowed means holy, sacred, revered, or set apart.
your kingdom come Jesus’ disciples were to pray God’s just rule would manifest itself on the earth,
Give us each day our daily bread. The prayer here acknowledges that we are indebted to God for our simplest needs and asks for them day by day.
Forgive us our sins, This is just as real as the need for daily bread is, the need for daily forgiveness.
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us, this shows that those forgiven are expected to show forgiveness to others. Mark does not have the Lord’s prayer but addresses this subject as well in 11:25.
And lead us not into temptation The Pulpit commentary tells us this could be read as, “Thou knowest, Father, how weak I am; let me not be tempted (tested) above that I am able.” If we look at 1 Corinthians 10:13 we will find this to be true as well. Notice Luke ends here omitting the closing that is in Matthew.
It was not enough for Jesus to teach His disciples a format to pray, but now He teaches them to pray with boldness and persistence.
Luke 11:5-8. In this parable it is important to know during this time period, the main door of a house would likely open into one room where everyone would be sleeping. That’s why the second person replies, that the request is too inconvenient to be met. Still, the story ends with the second friend getting up and giving bread because of the shameless audacity of the request. Therefore, be bold and persistent in prayer. Don’t quit, don’t give up. This is not ‘vain repetition (better translated as continuous babbling)’ but praying with heartfelt need or needs.
Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Keep praying.
Luke 11:9-10. This is virtually a command from Jesus. Don’t quit. Ask! Seek! Knock! Don’t give up! Keep praying. Jesus, with the commands to ask, seek, and knock, provides real encouragement to keep praying because of God’s willingness to answer prayer.
Your Heavenly Father is GOOD!
Luke 11:11-13. Here Jesus encourages prayer by reminding us of the nature of the One to whom we are praying. If faulty human parents will meet the real needs of their children, instead of deceiving them with harmful gifts, how much more can we expect our heavenly Father to bless us with the best gift, the Holy Spirit, as well as lesser gifts. Thus, the lesson closes with an emphasis on God as Father. Because He knows us and loves us, we never need to be afraid of the answers that He gives.
Will God give us what we want just because we ask? No. God promises to meet all of our needs, not necessarily give us everything we desire or that seems beneficial to us.
Finally, how are we to examine our prayer life as we consider the verses following the format for prayer? If the request were our own, how might our own prayers change if we were to begin to implement Jesus’ teaching?