June 21. Luke 11:1-13
This is one packed little portion of scripture! Let’s start with the first verse where “Jesus was in a certain place praying.” I wonder where that “certain place” was? I think, based on context, that Jesus found a quiet time spot wherever they all happened to be, and went there to pray! The disciples seemed to know where to find Him and they also knew that it was a spot where He prayed. I love this! And I try to practice it. At home, my certain place is my brown sofa near my reading lamp. Whenever I am somewhere else, be it a private home or a hotel, the first thing I do before I go to sleep that first night is to choose my “certain place” for my quiet time the next morning. I want to know where I’ll go to meet with the Lord before I meet with anyone else.
Of course the most famous part of this section is the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus taught prayer. He didn’t assume the disciples ought to know how to do it. When they asked, He taught them a simple method. It involved daily bread, so I think it’s meant to infer we ask daily for the needs of the day. It incorporated confession and asking forgiveness for sins. It had a place for forgiving others so bitterness would not grow in hearts. There’s adoration and praise there. And there’s also a submission to “Thy will” being done, isn’t there? It’s a great model to follow. Am I submitting my desires for my dailies under the overarching agreement with God that ultimately I want HIS will over mine each day? This prayer teaches me to do this, among many other things. It’s rich in content, yet so simple and short in length!
The first illustration Jesus gives in this section about prayer basically tells us to be persistent in prayer. To keep on asking for things, even if the answer seems to be a long time coming. I learned the value of this when Ray’s father accepted Christ as his Savior nine days before his death and almost 50 years after I started praying for his salvation. Be persistent. Don’t give up. The second illustration reminds us that God is good. He’s not going to zap us with cancer if we tell Him “Thy will be done.” He gives good gifts. Sometimes we are afraid of Him, that somehow He will make our life harder. No. Not true. Life is hard whether we pray or not. But when we pray to a good Father, He helps the hard become easier. Let’s trust Him and know that when we go to Him, His intentions toward us are for our good and never for our harm.
My verse: Luke 11:1 “Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
My response: Lord, You modeled a praying life. You who were (and are) God, communed with the Father God. Was it love for the Father that prompted You? Did You, in flesh, derive strength from prayer? Is that where You received directions for the day? I love that You often withdrew to pray. I love that You taught prayer to others! I am awed that we have the privilege of talking and meeting with You—whenever we wish as You dwell within us and because You are Omnipresent and everywhere we are. I am never alone. Thank You.