Luke 11:1-13 (NRSV)
Chapter 11He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples." Verse 2He said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Verse 3Give us each day our daily bread. Verse 4And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial." Verse 5And he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; Verse 6for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.' Verse 7And he answers from within, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.' Verse 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. Verse 9"So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. Verse 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Verse 11Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Verse 12Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? Verse 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
Jesus taught his disciples to pray, and his own constancy in prayer is a testament to its importance in our lives. Prayer does not need to be eloquent to fulfill its purpose in seeking relationship with God. We pray knowing that God hears our words, whether through tears, our singing, or our sighs.
We are invited to pray because that is how our relationship with God is nourished and strengthened. We speak our concerns and listen for God’s word. Listening in silence is challenging amid the noise of our environment, and silence is a rare and fleeting experience. However, it is great to discover in our relationships that being together in silence provides for powerful connection and deeper understanding.
In teaching us to pray, Jesus has given us a gift that invites us to bring our cares and desires to a loving God, with the assurance that God knows us and hears our prayers.
Father, we thank you for your generous love for us, and for your invitation to come to you with the confidence that you hear our needs and those of all who call upon you. We pray in the name of Christ. Amen.