Day 2 – Lord’s Prayer part 2

Day 2 is on the Lord’s prayer again. This time I read the passage from Luke 11: 1-12: 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.”

He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father,[ahallowed be your name, your kingdom come.[bGive us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.[cAnd lead us not into temptation.[d]’” 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; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 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.’I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[e] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

“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[f] 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!”

So in Matthew, the Lord’s prayer is preceded with instructions for privacy and brevity in prayer. In Luke, the Lord’s prayer  is followed by a call for persistence. It seems almost contradictory. Digging a little deeper, you see some interesting other scriptures. The Matthew text was cross referenced (in the Amplified Bible) to I Kings 18 where Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to “cooking” contest.  The prophets of baal “prayed” all day long, repeating themselves over and over again and baal never lit their sacrificial fire. Elijah’s prayer was one sentence: “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You, the Lord, are God, and have turned their hearts back” (I Kings 18:37)  I find it interesting that the recorded prayer does not even actually ask for God to light the fire. God already knew what Elijah wanted.

So Elijah, in comparison to the prophets of baal, shows a clear example of brevity in prayer. But Jesus’ words in Luke call for persistence.  more to follow….

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