In the Lectionary this Sunday, the Gospel Reading is Luke 11:1-13 where the disciples of Jesus want him to teach them how to pray. They have seen Jesus do a lot of praying on his own, but now they too want a way to pray. So Jesus gives them a way to pray that we now have as the Lord’s Prayer.
Before you read the passage, consider who taught you how to pray? How did you learn?
My first memories of prayer are at bedtime: “Now i lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my Soul to Keep, May angels watch over me through the night, and help me do, what is right. AMEN” The version that my husband remembers included the line “if i should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my Soul to take.” YIKES! That’s a bit scary if you are a little kid!
What are ways that you enjoy praying today that may be very different from how you were taught?
My favorite ways to pray these days include praying for my neighbors and my neighborhood as I walk my dog Jake, and praying while I make my coffee and unload the dishwasher in the morning at my Coffee Prayer Station. And most of you know I love praying with my coffee cup too!
Did you grow up praying the Lord’s Prayer in church? What memories do you have of the Lord’s Prayer?
READ the Passage a couple of times in each version …what do you notice that you haven’t seen in this scripture before today? What does Jesus say about how to pray?
“Master, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
So he said, “When you pray, say,
Father, Reveal who you are. Set the world right. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.”
Then he said, “Imagine what would happen if you went to a friend in the middle of the night and said, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread. An old friend traveling through just showed up, and I don’t have a thing on hand.’
“The friend answers from his bed, ‘Don’t bother me. The door’s locked; my children are all down for the night; I can’t get up to give you anything.’
“But let me tell you, even if he won’t get up because he’s a friend, if you stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors, he’ll finally get up and get you whatever you need.
“Here’s what I’m saying:
Ask and you’ll get; Seek and you’ll find; Knock and the door will open.
“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?” LUKE 11:1-13 THE MESSAGE
He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2 So he said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, may your name be revered as holy. May your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.”
5 And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7 And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything out of friendship, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
9 “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asked for a fish, would give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asked for an egg, would give a scorpion? If you, then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” LUKE 11:1-13 NRSV
Do you feel like it’s easy or hard to ask for what you need?
Do you feel like it’s easy or hard to keep asking for something in your prayers? Are you like me and feel like it’s not ok to just keep asking for the same thing? Jesus seems to say it’s TOTALLY FINE to keep asking. What do you notice comes up for you in this?
“This is what Jesus told them when they asked him to teach them to pray. Pray like kids at Christmas, knowing that you are loved, knowing that you will be heard, knowing that your parents are longing to bless you! And let your confidence, your trust and your excitement grow in the asking! Be persistent, if you like! -not in the nagging manipulation of someone wheedling his own way, but just in the excitement of a child asking “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”” Dr Ken Baker.
How do you feel about prayer after reading this quote by Dr. Ken Baker? I really love this image of prayer! Praying like kids at Christmas knowing that I am LOVED!!!! READ THE REST OF HIS POST HERE
What are you knocking about or seeking for right now? What door do you want/need to be open? Talk to Jesus about this!
Find some BREAD or a bagel/roll…. pray with the Lord’s Prayer
Give us this day our Daily Bread…Consider how Jesus has provided for you this week. Take time to be thankful.
Forgive us as We forgive others …How do you need to be forgiven today? Ask Jesus to forgive you.
Now consider who you need to forgive. Take some time to pray for that person or people.
Take time this week to pray against the evil in our world.
Pray with the Lord’s Prayer from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer
Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver, Source of all that is and that shall be, Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe! The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world! Your heavenly will be done by all created beings! Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us. In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us. In times of temptation and test, strengthen us. From trials too great to endure, spare us. From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever. Amen. –
When you make your toast or have a sandwiches this week, remember to thank Jesus for his abundant provision. When you knock on a Door this week, know that Jesus is opening doors for you and wants you to pray with the hope filled spirit of a little child! You are greatly loved by a God who hears you!
LISTEN to the Lord’s Prayer in Song:
It seems so far away, and yet “Christmas in July” can be a time to plan ahead for the upcoming season of Advent and Christmas. Check out the many resources Godspace has to offer in our shop!