In this video, Clint Loveall and Michael Gewecke discuss Luke 11:1-4, also known as the Lord’s Prayer. They explore the profound simplicity of this prayer and the importance of understanding its context and meaning. Clint and Michael delve into the significance of addressing God as Father, the act of confession and forgiveness, and the connection between prayer and our daily lives. Join them as they explore the depth and power of this timeless prayer and its relevance in our lives today.
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00:00:00:48 – 00:00:25:32
Hey, everybody. Thanks for joining us again as we move through. Glad that you are with us. Grateful to have you join us today on this Tuesday as we move into the 11th chapter. The gospel of Luke, familiar words today, although a slightly different version than you may know, but they are with us. So let me read these for you.
00:00:25:37 – 00:00:46:36
It’s called the Lord’s Prayer. That pretty much gives it away. I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of surprises here, but this is a really interesting passage to look at together. So let me read it for you. He was praying in a certain place, and after he finished, one of his disciples said to him, Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciples.
00:00:46:40 – 00:01:15:22
He said to them, When you pray, say Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each our daily bread and forgive us our sins. For we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us, and do not bring us to the time of trial. So obviously, I think probably anybody familiar with the Lord’s Prayers and Prayer knows that this isn’t the typical version of it.
00:01:15:23 – 00:01:43:10
We get that out of Matthew primarily, but the bones are here. It’s a condensed version, but the gist of it is here. Before we get to the words themselves, I think it is worth noting, Michael, that this prayer is occasioned by a question on prayer. The disciples see Jesus praying after he finished. Now, we don’t know if they watched him or if this is one of those instances.
00:01:43:10 – 00:02:17:08
He goes off and does his own thing. But in the experience of seeing someone pray, the disciples are moved to this question. Lord, teach us to pray. And I think what’s humbling and what’s beautiful about that is if you’ve ever known a prayer person, if you’ve ever known someone who is seasoned by hours and hours of prayer, if you’ve ever known someone who incorporates prayer into their lives and into themselves, it is observable.
00:02:17:13 – 00:02:44:48
It is noticeable in the church. It is not surprising at all to find out that a person you admire and look up to is a person who spends considerable amount of time in prayer. And then the natural question in that moment is the comparison of who I feel like I struggle. Teach us to pray. And I think there’s just there’s something affirming in that.
00:02:44:49 – 00:03:03:25
Michael, You know, I suppose on the negative side, you could say that none of us pray the way we thought, and I’m sure that’s true. But I think it is a it’s a high compliment when somebody observes your prayer life and asks, Hey, could you teach that to me?
00:03:03:30 – 00:03:27:54
So I think Clint, we maybe get an early grace in this passage. I think we often maybe find prayer to be a place where there’s some guilt, where we wish that we could play in a way that we don’t, or we wish that we could pray for a period of time that we struggle with. You know, there can be lots of different aspects and approaches to prayer.
00:03:27:59 – 00:03:52:40
And I think here one of the great gifts, the grace that we receive already here in this first verse is the idea that prayer can be taught, it can be practice, prayer can be built into who we are as people. If you are one who struggles to pray, that’s great news. It’s great news to know that this is a practice that one can build up over time.
00:03:52:40 – 00:04:23:43
And it’s not that someone is born with superhero praying abilities and it’s only for them that prayer is available. No, I think both the fact that needs to be taught in the beginning and then also I think the very simplicity and very direct connection to common human life that Jesus is going to model in the prayer to come both of those things work together to remind us, to teach us that prayer is not some high falutin, highly specialized activity.
00:04:23:54 – 00:04:46:57
It’s a thing that is practiced. It’s a thing that grows in the midst of Christian discipleship. And it’s the thing that directly connects to our real common life. It doesn’t require, you learning a new vocabulary, doesn’t require you gaining a brand new set of public speaking skills. All it is is an opportunity for you to connect in a real, meaningful, concrete way with God.
00:04:46:57 – 00:04:47:53
00:04:47:58 – 00:05:09:56
Yeah. And I also think, Michael, the interesting thing about prayer as we think about it in the church is that it exists on so many levels there. There certainly is nothing wrong with the occasional and sporadic prayer. The prayer while you’re driving the prayer before meals, those those moments, the prayer when you talk to somebody and they’re struggling.
00:05:10:01 – 00:05:46:28
I think prayer in those moments is a wonderful reminder of the ways in which God intertwines with our life. But there is that deeper practice of consistent, intentional, heartfelt, and I would say even disciplined the idea of a prayer life that goes beyond the occasional and is a consistent practice of communing with God and I think that’s, you know, what we see here in Jesus.
00:05:46:28 – 00:06:19:25
That’s what the disciples notice. And those are the kind of prayer lives that probably most shape people. And so moved by that. His disciples ask him, you know, how should we pray? And then Jesus gives the answer. And, you know, as much as, Yeah, the reality is, Michael, not to speak for you. We have nothing to offer. In addition to what people have said about the Lord’s Prayer, this is the most studied prayer in human history.
00:06:19:30 – 00:06:44:04
There are books written on it. There are millions of sermons on it. There’s nothing that we can unpack for you that you can’t find in other places. But let’s at least say this. When they ask Jesus for a prayer he gives or how to pray, he gives them a prayer. He doesn’t say, Do this, do this, do this.
00:06:44:09 – 00:07:11:00
He doesn’t teach them all the fundamentals of he. He he prays because how does one learn? How does one learn to pray? By praying. Right. There is not some checklist for prayer. It’s done by doing it. It’s learned by doing it. But nevertheless, I do think we can see a couple of things here that matter. Hollywood, be your name.
00:07:11:00 – 00:07:39:16
We start with God, Your kingdom come. We acknowledge God as king. We acknowledge the coming world, the coming reign, and that we’re not yet in it. Give us the day, our daily bread that that our life as Christian is a daily enterprise, a daily struggle. And then interestingly, you know, five or six lines and Jesus has two of them about forgiveness.
00:07:39:21 – 00:08:05:28
Forgive our sins for we forgive everyone indebted to us. And we’re more used to that in the other formula. Michael, forgive us as we forgive this anticipates that the Christian is to be a forgiving person. And because we are we have access as well to the forgiveness of our sins and do not bring us to the time of trial, deliver us from difficult times.
00:08:05:33 – 00:08:31:07
You know what’s amazing, I think at its heart is how simple this prayer is and and yet how profound it is. You know, in that way that only Jesus seems to be able to achieve. There’s nothing here that’s difficult to understand. There’s nothing here that is high level discourse. And yet this simple prayer covers almost all the bases of our life.
00:08:31:12 – 00:08:55:42
It is so deep, it’s so nuanced, and we could break down every single one of these sentences. In turn. We could. We could look at books. We could study both what scholars tell us it might have meant or how it was included in the gospel. What sources. I mean, you can go as deep with this as you want, but there’s a few things I think that that need said.
00:08:55:42 – 00:09:27:34
And one is this address of Father Clint, because this is a double edged sword in many ways in the text and in the time it’s written, no one is calling God father, not in this way, that the idea of being a child of Abraham would have been significant in the Jewish community. But Jesus, when he claims Sonship, as he does in the Gospels, when Jesus does that, he’s making a bold and unheard of claim in his time and his context.
00:09:27:34 – 00:09:53:36
And so the invitation that we’re given to pray Father is itself scandalous. The idea of being welcomed in like a family member to the creator of all things, the Lord and the judge, the one who sees and oversees and rules and overrules to to use a familial term like that in address is a really, really big deal. That’s one side of the equation.
00:09:53:36 – 00:10:13:40
The other side of the equation is we live in a time where people are even, and maybe particularly so with the Christian church, have been rather cavalier with the idea of God in some camps, that there’s a kind of comfort in thinking of God as friend or thinking of God as your your buddy that you like hanging out with on the weekend.
00:10:13:55 – 00:10:51:05
And I would want to point out, I don’t think that’s what Jesus is suggesting here. He is not suggesting a kind of loose and maybe your respectful kind of address for God. I think that this is entirely respectable. I think it’s entirely fearful in the holy, positive sense of that word. I think it is an opportunity for us to remember that no matter our life or our circumstance or our blood, family, whatever gifts or burdens we received in the midst of our journey with it, we have a Heavenly Father, and that relationship redefines everything.
00:10:51:05 – 00:11:14:44
It changes everything. That prayer hinges on that because we have been given grace, we’ve been given a gift. We get to pray this prayer not because we have found ourselves in the prayer camp. It’s because we’ve been invited by Jesus Christ to pray as He prays so that this is a US thing, that we’re invited to pray. And it is that just that a sheer invitation.
00:11:14:49 – 00:11:53:48
Yeah. And I think, you know, that’s the interesting thing about prayer, is that praying is not about prayer. And prayer is not about praying. It is about relationship with God. It is about Holy Be your name. It is about our daily bread. It is about forgiveness. It is about withstanding trials and temptations. It is the disciples perhaps ask here for some formula, but instead what they get is a glimpse into a relationship and a way to nurture that relationship.
00:11:53:52 – 00:12:27:29
And so prayer is not fundamentally about praying. Prayer is about time with God. Prayer is about relationship with God. Prayer is only the tool, the mechanism by which that is pursued. And I think, you know, again, between Luke and Jesus, we have this fascinating portrait in which six lines of text give us a lifetime worth of learning and and growth.
00:12:27:34 – 00:12:45:52
The danger of studying a text like this clenched is, you know, that you get hung up in one place. And like we’ve already said, I don’t think we’re going to be able to cover what I know. We’re not to be able to cover all of the extensive thoughts that’s been put to this person for give a very personal response, a very personal reflection on the prayer.
00:12:45:57 – 00:13:13:26
I remember the first time I heard a prayer in which someone said, forgive us our sins or we confess our sins. I remember the place. I remember the time I didn’t grow up in a Christian tradition that that did this kind of confession. It was more of a kind of a moment at the altar kind of tradition. But I remember it was at a family meal.
00:13:13:39 – 00:13:46:41
I remember who was praying. And I remember the moment when the person said and forgive us our sins, for we know that they are many. And that struck me then, and it has struck me ever since then how important it is to come to God in relationship honestly. And if we’re going to do that, if we’re going to be honest with God, if we’re going to be authentic to the reality of who we actually are, then we must be willing to learn how to go through the gateway of repentance.
00:13:46:46 – 00:14:13:24
We need to become comfortable admitting our brokenness, because if we’re going to have a meaningful and deep relationship with God, then we are going to need to practice asking for forgiveness. And for many of us, for myself included, that’s a very difficult task. It’s a very humbling task. And yet it is striking how forgiveness has such a large proportion of just sheer time in this prayer.
00:14:13:39 – 00:14:36:33
And I think that there’s great wisdom in the Christian traditions that recognize that and make that a part of some kind of daily or regular practice just admitting to God, which requires also admitting to ourself, No, I am broken. I do need God’s grace in this invitation. And then everything is transformed and changed. On the other side of that repentance.
00:14:36:37 – 00:15:00:25
Probably should have said something about this on the front end of talking about the prayer. But just a kind of note, I think we hear, you know, give us this day our daily bread and we tend to personalize that. Michael. We think of that in terms of the strength we need for the day. It give us help with our problems.
00:15:00:30 – 00:15:32:51
And there’s there’s nothing wrong with that, that that is a a fitting way to pray. But keep in mind, in Jesus context to the people he’s talking to, give us our daily bread literally meant that in many cases there are still millions around the world who pray this prayer, hoping that each day will bring with it physical, literal, daily bread, harkening back to that concept of manna in the Old Testament.
00:15:32:56 – 00:16:02:04
So just be aware that there isn’t earthiness to this prayer. There is an immediacy and a need to it that sometimes we don’t get in the comfort of our first world experience and the luxury of our first world experience. But don’t forget those who pray this prayer and pray it literally give us our daily bread. And that that, you know, that’s not something you’d want to forget.
00:16:02:09 – 00:16:27:10
And the reality that we, I think, end up saying quite often, Clint, that this idea of do not bring us into the time of trial. We seem to, I think, continually as humans, be surprised when trials come upon us. We are surprised when suffering difficulty, when we go through the valley or when the path breaks it. It often strikes us as incongruent with the Christian faith.
00:16:27:10 – 00:16:52:41
But it is just so clear in Jesus’s life and ministry. If we have the eyes to see it that Jesus intended to prepare, those who followed Him to reckon with, to square up against the life’s most difficult aspects. Jesus is not surprised by the brokenness of the world around him, and we should not be either. When when the when the world breaks others and when the world breaks us.
00:16:52:46 – 00:17:21:43
That’s not surprising to God. But there is a kind of supplication and prayer and connection with God that recognizes and laments and confesses and tells the truth about that brokenness that becomes empowered by God. That becomes an opportunity for growth and restoration and healing as opposed to destruction. And here this is all blended together in a beautiful way, because on one hand, you have your kingdom come.
00:17:21:43 – 00:18:00:07
This thing that Jesus proclaimed was coming the kingdom here, and yet the kingdom coming. And then you also have the stuff you need for this day and the forgiveness you need to reckon with and the sin you need to repent of. And then ultimately the trouble and trial of this day or the day to come. And in the midst of all of this, I think is Jesus reminding us of the breadth of God’s kingdom, the breadth of God’s plan, and also the depth of it, the fact that we both go wide and deep in this journey and somehow Jesus is able to encompass all of that in just a few stanzas, which is remarkable.
00:18:00:12 – 00:18:31:28
Yeah. In fact, I would suggest maybe as we move toward finishing today’s study, if you’ve got your Bible with you, just take a few moments of quiet in the aftermath of the study and and read these words carefully. Maybe read them out loud. But try to let the power of them again settle in because it is no small thing that the disciples say, teach us to pray and Jesus offers them a prayer.
00:18:31:28 – 00:19:01:33
And the idea that we get to return to Jesus words time and time again, or as we do weekly in worship. This is one of those things that unfortunately sometimes memorizing works against us. We all know this prayer by heart, but that means sometimes we only do it at church and we never do it carefully and quietly in the context of really trying to understand and be moved by it.
00:19:01:33 – 00:19:15:33
So maybe that’s something you could you’d feel comfortable doing at home following this. It’s it is it’s hard to overstate how wonderful that prayer is and how important it has been in the in the life of the church.
00:19:15:37 – 00:19:29:04
So well said. So this is what we’re going to do. I’m going to do in about 2 seconds. I’m going to flip over to the prayer, pause this video wherever you’re at, and pray that prayer. We look forward to seeing you on the other side of the study.