October 17 – Luke 11:1-13

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Luke 11:1-13 – On Prayer

One of the beautiful things about Luke’s gospel is the many times we read about Jesus being in prayer. Luke 3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18, 28 each show us that Jesus spent time renewing his spirit by communicating with God in prayer.

Jesus had been asked before in Luke 5:33 about John the Baptist’s teaching on prayer and fasting to his disciples. These men had observed Jesus spending a great deal of time in prayer and wanted to learn how to do it as he did. They may have been looking for a common prayer to share together – it would create a sense of community.

So, he responded by giving a prayer that would help them speak simply and directly to God. There were no flowery words or false pretenses, just simple words to bring them together. There are many discussions and commentaries written on the difference between the words of Luke and of Matthew, but it is easy to see that this Luke’s format is something that could be easily used many times during the day and opens the heart to further explore prayer with the Father.

In Luke 11:5, Jesus explains that God is more dependable than human friends. No matter the inconvenience, a friend will help.  In Luke 11:11-13, Jesus explains that God is more gracious than even a parent.

These two sections further develop the attitude that we should have in prayer. The prayer itself doesn't say anything about that, so Jesus tells us that we should be bold. If we can ask our friends for things, we can ask God.  By the time we get to Luke 11:8, Jesus says that the friend won’t bring bread to us simply because he wants to … we must ask for it. Be shameless in your boldness with God. He is a greater friend than any we can know on earth.

The story of the father and son shows us God’s compassion and grace. God will not give something that is useless, nor will he give something to us that is harmful. He gives only good gifts. The good gift that Luke wants us to know of is that of the Holy Spirit. This is the best gift we are given by the Father.

God will respond to our prayers and in grace and compassion will give us good gifts.