Friday, July 14, 2017

Luke 11:1-4 -- On Learning to Pray

"And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil."
Luke 11:1-4

This is a great lesson on prayer from Christ himself.  He first starts by asking them to address his Father in prayer, then to honor him and to pray for his will to be done.  We sometimes gloss over these parts of prayer, but they are important.  The one that strikes me as especially important today is the fact that we place God's will before our own, and before any requests.  Christ was a perfect example of this--living a life doing his Father's will, and even when there came a time in the Garden when the two things were not the same, he put his Father's will before his own (Matthew 26:39).

Asking for only a day's worth of bread is an interesting thing to ask for.  To me it suggests several things:
  • Not being too greedy or demanding of God, but instead being content with whatever he has to give us today.
  • Being faithful and believing that God will continue to help us tomorrow.
  • The whole idea of being sustained by God--remembering that he does, and will take care of us as we look to him.  Not that we shouldn't work to provide for ourselves and our families, but knowing that all of it is part of relying on God--knowing absolutely that we *need* him in our lives.
I also like how being forgiven is tied to forgiving others.  We often wonder why others can't just let things go and forgive us, and we plead for God to help us have another chance, but we rarely see it the other way around.  God, of course, sees both perspectives, and has asked us to forgive each other and leave judgment to him (Doctrine and Covenants 64:10).

The last part of the prayer acknowledges that we are going to have temptation, and asks God to help us with it and lead us away from it.  This reminds me personally that a lot of hard times in my life resulted from me walking in a direction that I knew God was warning me away from... he did his part, but I did not do mine.  Perhaps this has happened to many of us, so a really good reminder to ask for, and also to listen to, that guidance from God in our lives so that we know what to avoid.

Today, let's take some advice from the best source, and learn a little better how to pray.


  1. I really needed to read this today. Thank you for this reminder on the simplicity of prayer, if only we are not greedy, selfish, or vain.


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