Learning How to Pray

Written by Joel on July 27th, 2010

July 25, 2010
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 11:1-13 (The Lord’s Prayer)


Opening: An example of someone shamelessly asking for something – what might that look like? (illustration?)

Introduction to our text – why study The Lord’s Prayer?

Something that we do so often might go unexamined.

There are a few dishes I can cook without looking at the recipe. However, every so often I go back and check and discover that I had been using a different quantity of some ingredient, or I find suggestions I hadn’t considered.


Sermon on the mount (in Matthew); but in Luke it follows the text from last week – Martha and Mary. , especially other instructions about prayer.

Comparison to Matthean verison(?)

Luke’s is much more brief. Omits: “in heaven,” “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and “deliver us from the evil one.”


Prayer leads to prayer.

One quite interesting difference about the Luke version is that this is not just a teaching moment, but rather the disciples see Jesus praying, and that action leads to the request “Lord, teach us to pray.” Prayer leads to prayer. Kind of like a kid brother who wants to do everything the big brother is doing…just because he is the big brother.

Pray to your Father.

The Disciples ask “Lord teach us to pray,” not “Would you pray for us.” The prayer is directed to the Father in heaven. When you pray, do so in this way: to the father.


The shamelessness of asking. The word is translated as “boldness” in our NIV pew bibles; other translations use “persistance” But it more carries the connotation of shamelessness, ignoring what is proper, disregarding other’s opinions, unconvential. We are to pray, especially if we do not have the words, we are to pray especially if we are non-professional pray-ers (illustration?)

Challenge, with instruction.

Soon now, following this message we will enter into a time of prayer. I want to encourage you to come before the Lord our God boldly, shamelessley, honestly letting your desires and needs known. I will offer some general prayers for the needs of the church and the world and then I will invite you to pray saying “for what else shall we pray?” Here, speak out to God among us as one family and let your needs known.

Also, realizing that we are one family; that the needs of one member are the needs of another, let us affirm the prayer of our brothers and sisters when they are finished by joining them in prayer and asking “Lord, hear our prayer.”

Our prayer time on this day may go a bit longer than we are accustomed, and there may be longer bits of silence – and that is okay. Prayer can be quite an awkward, personal, scary thing – but that is why we practice. Prayer leads to Prayer. Let us prepare now to continue our paryer.


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