In Luke 11, the disciples ask Jesus, "teach us to pray" (Lk. 11:3). This may be one of the most important questions the disciples ever asked Jesus. For those that may not know, prayer is communication with God. Because believers are in a relationship with God, prayer can be one of the greatest ways to grow that relationship. Thankfully, in Jesus' response he teaches believers how to pray. He says in Luke 11:2-4:
2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread,
4 and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
As you read this prayer you see reverence for God, a request for the kingdom, provision, forgiveness, and a request of deliverance from temptations to sin. Understanding each of these is important for when we pray.
The prayer begins by addressing God in an intimate way by referring to God as Father. What this tells us is that prayer is something that is intimate between God and his people. This can be done individually or with other believers.
The rest of the prayer is followed by 5 requests.
The first request is "hallowed be your name."
This request is asking that God's reputation would be honored by men. As believers, when we pray this we should do at least two things. 1. Have reverence for who God is. 2. Ask ourselves if we our living in a way that honors and reflects who God is.
The second request is "Your kingdom come."
This request is identifying yourself along with Jesus' message of the kingdom. Here believers are asking that God's kingdom would continue to grow until it comes fully with Jesus' return.
The third request is "Give us each day our daily bread."
Here believers are asking for food to sustain life. While in America this request seems strange, we should remember not everyone is as fortunate to have food every meal of the day.
The fourth request is "…forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us."
Here believers should take great comfort that God is willing to forgive us from of our sins. 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." However, this request is also one of the most challenging because we have to forgive those who have wronged us. This can be hard because so many of us hold grudges or feel that we deserve to have revenge. But as believers we have to remember that we have wronged God, and if He is willing to forgive us, we should forgive others.
The fifth request is "And lead us not into temptation.”
Here believers should not think that God leads them into temptation because God does not tempt anyone (James 1:13). Rather, believers are asking that they would be delivered from things that could lead them into sinning.
As you read this passage today reflect through each request. What you may find is higher view of God (reverence), a desire to make him known (kingdom), thankfulness for food (provision), a need to confess something to God and maybe a need to talk to someone that’s wronged you (forgiveness), and reliance on God to get through tough situations that could cause you to sin (deliverance).