READ LUKE 11
Prayer was part of Jesus daily living as a human being. Luke is the writer who discusses this fact the most in his gospel writing. Prayer was important to Jesus. He would often escape to a quiet place to talk with His Father. His time was limited, because of the big following He was gaining, but He always found time to do so. The disciples saw their rabbi going off to pray and, wanting to follow His example, they asked Him how they should pray.
“How should we pray,” is really a prayer in itself. How many times have we gone into prayer with just that question? We can’t find the words. We stumble over the ones we say. We feel unworthy or selfish. That is when we should rely on God’s intervention to give us the right words. In the book of Romans we’re told that the Holy Spirit will intercede on our behalf with groans to deep for us to understand or say.
In Luke 11, Jesus gives us a perfect example of how to pray. This is one of those prayers we learned as children and used throughout our lives. Often, because we know it by rote, we just recite the words without really thinking about them. This prayer is rich in petitions, in thanksgiving and praise. All the elements necessary for us to come to the Lord in prayer.
Jesus also tells His disciples to ask with confidence that our prayers will be answered. God knows what is best for us. The answer may be “yes,” if it’s for our benefit and to His glory. It may be “no” if He feels it could harm us in the end. His answer could be “maybe” when He wants us to rely on Him completely and patiently wait for the answer in His timing.
As Jesus was casting out demons, a member of the crowd questioned the fact that only the chief of demons could do such a thing, a well remembered phrase was uttered by our Savior. He said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.” This idea has been penned by many through the ages, including Abraham Lincoln’s, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
How true is that today? We see it in our own political scene as division is occurring all across the country. Family members fighting over what’s true and not true. Friendships and relationships falling apart because of heresay and a court without rules.
Jesus goes on to tell us that we are to let our light shine. We should not hide our identity as Christians. We have an amazing story to tell – one filled with hope and forgiveness. He also talks to the Pharisees and Lawyers with chastisement. He says to them, “For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”
There is much more to this chapter, but it’s tied together with how we relate to God – how we relate to each other – how we should forgive those who would have us stumble – and how we should continue to follow the laws of God, even though Christ has come to fulfill them.
As the chapter ends, we see that the Pharisees began their mission to trap Jesus in things that He said and did. The plot had already been planned.