Here is a helpful look at Luke 11:1-13 and some thought out questions to help you reflect on Lukes take on these series of events. Please take time to read the passage and to prayerfully reflect on what God may be saying to you.
1 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:
“‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
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 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 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!”
We often say that we don’t want our prayer times with God to just be as though we are giving Him a shopping list of things we want, and things we want done.
But its easy to slip into.
What can we do to practice better conversation when talking with our Father.
Here’s a few thoughts from Jesus as we read here in Luke.
The Lord’s prayer as we call it, starts off with - “May Your Name be kept holy”. The first thing Jesus teaches his disciples is to praise God in their prayers. To praise Him for who He is. Starting by first thinking about who it is we are speaking to is an excellent way to take our conversations with Him deeper.
The second things Jesus teaches them is a submission of their will to God’s will in their prayers – “May Your Kingdom come (and “Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” is added in Matthew)”. It’s His Kingdom before ours.
Then he mentions addressing our needs in our prayers – “Give us today our daily bread”. It’s a daily reliance on God’s provision for us. If the order of the lines in the Lord’s prayer show the level of importance in any way then we should be thinking first about giving Him Glory and seeking His will even before expressing our needs.
Thanksgiving, I believe should be added in to your “formula” (so to speak) of how your prayers should be shaped. I think of it coming through as a part of the first line, that as we praise God for who He is we thank him for his generosity towards us, or as apart of the third line, as we ask Him for our needs, which is what we teach our children to do at meal times.
(A side note – I find it a little comical when we “ask God to bless our food”, like we are asking Him to increase the nutritional value (nothing wrong with that) or to protect us encase it was poisoned. If I want more nutritional value I should cook healthier and when Im actually concerned about the possibility of someone trying to poison me, then I’l pray for protection but that seems a little far-fetched from my context (unless I’m mistaken). It makes a little more sense for me to make thanking God for my food my primary concern. The Passage that comes to mind about blessing our food is when Jesus blesses the loaves and fishes before feeding the thousands, which is probably the most scripturally accurate way to think about “blessing the food”. I would love to bless the food in that way!”
That was a big side note…. Ahem ..
He goes on to teach -“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive others for their sins toward us”. There’s nothing better for making you a humble person than daily repentance and thinking about how your sins are equal to others’ sins and no less than.
And lastly is, spiritual protection. We must remember that we are in a spiritual battle, not a physical one, and we need His spiritual strength and protection.
Make these aspects of prayer a daily inclusion in how you pray and see what you think.