Luke 11:1–4 (ESV)
The Lord’s Prayer (Part 1)
11 Now Jesus
was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,
4 and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted
And lead us not into temptation.”
The Lord’s Prayer is found in two locations in the New Testament.
Today’s reading has the short version and the more common long version is found in Matthew 6:9-13. These two versions were probably not taught at the same time, but are from two different teachings. We do not know who asked Jesus “Lord,
teach us to pray.” I do hear a lot of people asking me the same question or telling me they don’t know how to pray. I tell them first of all, praying is simply communicating with God. Just talk to him, whether out loud or
to yourself. I often pray while driving my car. I don’t close my eyes or put my hands together... I just drive and talk to him out loud. When asked how to pray, I direct them right to the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus teaches to
first direct your prayer to God, “Father, hallowed be your name.” The Father is of course God the Father, and “hallowed” means to keep his name Holy. When we pray “Your kingdom come,”
God’s kingdom will come and is in part here now. We are part of His Kingdom, although we are still living in a sinful world and trapped in sinful “old Adam” body. We pray for the day when we will live in God’s unstained
Kingdom, which is coming. When we pray “Give us each day our daily bread” is the only petition where we are asking for something physically. It is much more than just bread. Luther’s Small Catechism teaches us:
"Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good
government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like."
The next petition is very important. I usually point out that we pray the first part from
our heart and simply say the second part. What I mean by that is that we want to be forgiven by God, but the second part... we pray that we forgive those who sin against us. We all want to be forgiven, but we are not so fast to forgive others.
We often hold on to those wrongs and bring them up later. If we forgive our spouse or a brother of a sin, then we should never use that sin against them again... but we often hold on to them... sometimes to the point of not forgiving them. Jesus
is teaching us to pray... that forgiveness is a two way street. This we really need to pray! In fact in today’s short version, we pray “we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” That is... everyone...
who is indebted to us.
The last part, we pray to “not be lead into temptation.” Lord, help us on this request, we need all the help we can get.
I pray: “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 who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.” Amen.