February 23, 2020, Luke 11:1-13 – ISSL Reflection

We closed last week taking note of a short “commentary” that follows the recording of the Lord’s Prayer in the Gospel of Matthew, and open this week looking at the Prayer in its context in the Gospel of Luke.

We want to spend time this week with the prayer and also with the words of Jesus that precede and follow the prayer.

Let’s begin by fully pausing, and clearing our minds so we can pay attention deeply to this Scripture.

Luke 11:1-13 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name.
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.”

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; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 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.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.

“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 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 asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will 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!”

Let’s start by noticing what leads into the prayer – on this occasion we find Jesus praying, with his disciples near, maybe near enough to see him in prayer (do you think they heard him?). The disciples acknowledge that other of God’s prophets taught their disciples/followers how to pray. They ask Jesus to teach them to pray.

Do you think they ask because they might have wanted to tell others, “This is how WE learned to pray FROM JESUS …” Maybe with even some arrogance in their voices?

Or, did they see something in how Jesus prayed that they wanted to come nearer to in their prayers? Had they begun to glimpse a way to come near to the God and Father of Jesus?

What about us?

What do we need to learn of prayer and praying and the lived experience of prayer from Jesus?

Let’s stop for a few moments and name the places we need Jesus’ help in learning to pray. Ask the Father to help you see and name where Jesus can help you. Take your time, don’t rust, wait on the Spirit.

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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