John the Baptist had taught his disciples to pray and
this disciple realized that they were missing something.
They heard the Lord Jesus praying to His Father- they
had heard the things that He prayed for, they had seen His
trust in His Father that came through in His prayers, they
had seen the depth in His prayers and they realized they
were missing something or lacking something.
Prayer is never to be mechanical. We must never think
of it as being like a transaction- like conducting business-
that if I recite prayers or mantras then in return it will give
me spiritual power or result in good karma. Jesus breaks
such thinking about God. He teaches His disciple and us
about prayer here- true prayer- prayer to the Father, in the
name of Christ Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer where we offer up our desires to God, not hiding
anything, but confessing our sin, giving thanks for His
kindness and praying for things that agree with His will.
In these thirteen verses as the Lord Jesus teaches us about
prayer, He is really giving us a magnificent and comforting
picture of God- who is God what is He like. It begins with
calling upon God as our Father. The Israelites in the OT had
many titles for God, yet they would rarely call Him
“Father.” The exception is the passage that we read in Isaiah
“You, O LORD, are our Father,
our Redeemer from of old is your name.”
Yet we have greater confidence, because of Christ Jesus-
His Son. In Him, in trusting in Him in believing in Him, in
being born-again by the Holy Spirit we are able to call God
our Father. Here is the grounds of prayer- this is so vitally
important to grasp. This is the foundation and there is no
other foundation. See Galatians 4:4-7.
If I am a Christian, then I have passed from death to life. I
have experienced the grace of God. I now desire to turn
from all that offends God and is against Him and to trust in
Christ Jesus. And we stand in a unique position in prayer,
because we can call God our Father. Think of a father’s
authority, yet also their warmth and love and care for their
child. Everything that a perfect father is- so God is to us.
And here Christ Jesus- God the Son- tells us to come and to
pray to Him and to call Him our Father. He invites us to call
God our Father. That must never cease to amaze us!
Before we look at the passage, it seems that there are
three types of people who are addressed here;
●Firstly, you may be someone who doesn’t know how
to pray. Perhaps you have never really prayed before
in your life and don’t know where or how to begin.
You don’t know how to pray, what to say?
●Or secondly, perhaps you are discouraged in prayer.
You earnestly seek God, but are discouraged.
●Or thirdly, perhaps you doubt God’s goodness to
you. People can often be afraid to come to God,
fearing that He has something bad or limiting for
them. Do you doubt God’s goodness?
The Lord Jesus knows us and today He will address each
of these situations by giving us a model for praying,
encouragement to persevere in prayer and encouragement
that God is a good and generous giver who gives the Holy
Spirit to those who ask.
1. Praying to God our Father (v.1-4)
Luke 11:1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place.
When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord,
teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples." 2 He
said to them, "When you pray, say:
Here there are two requests concerning with God, and three
●"'Father, hallowed be your name (“God would you
be treated with the highest honour, a deep
respect/reverence and we pray that you would be set
apart as holy- and that people would see and know
that.” That is what “hallowed” means, to reverence
as holy- we start with God, we lift our minds and
think on His holiness, we honour and respect Him
for that- we recognize His perfection.
●your kingdom come (“let things will be done Your
way, not ours- that more and more God’s Kingdom
will go out in the earth- that as people’s hearts and
lives are captured by You that we would live how
you want us to live- Let Your Kingdom come until
Christ returns…. Then there are the three requests
●3 Give us each day our (Notice, it is us- not just
“me,”) daily bread
●4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone
who sins against us (If in Christ Jesus God has
forgiven us- we do not deserve it, we cannot earn it,
we cannot bargain with God- He freely and
graciously forgives those who trust in Him- well
then how can we hold on to bitterness against others.
The fruit of forgiveness is forgiveness).
●And lead us not into temptation (What a prayer!
Do you pray this and ask this? This is a prayer for
protection. That God will keep us from anything that
would lead us to sin- anything that is detrimental to
us. Surely only in Heaven will we know the number
of times we have been kept from evil. We are weak,
we are blind, we often don’t see spiritual danger- but
God our Father does, and this is an earnest prayer
for His protection). '"
There is nothing more disheartening than when you
meet someone who professes to be a Christian and in talking
to them you realize that they have a distorted view of God -
in particular, we can have a small view of God and are
oblivious to that. We can think of God as only the god who
we turn to when things go bad. The god who helps us at
times. Or we think of God as being like a good friend or a
grandfatherly type person. I pray that God will keep us from
having a small view of Him.
What is the cure? Surely, even the first line of this
prayer should help cure us, “Our Father, hallowed be You
Name!” For in praying that we are saying “you, God, are
perfect and holy in everything You are and in everything that
You do! And we praise You for that!” And we pray that Your
kingdom will come in all its fullness and goodness! We pray
that in our own lives and homes that Christ will reign- that
He will be Lord of all.
Or maybe you come as someone with a true and
believing faith yet you have reached the point of thinking,
“Lord I have had enough!” We all know that. Jesus’
teaching to us should be an encouragement. Pray, and ask
God to give you all you need to glorify His Name in every
situation that you face: “Father, each day our daily bread.
Give us that which we need for each day!” Let us sense our
own insufficiency- and so come to God and trust that He
Our knowledge about God and the bible is vital- yet it can
actually be a hindrance to us in a way, if that knowledge
does not show itself in a total reliance upon God in prayer.
In prayer we set our minds firstly on God Himself, we pray
for His glory- the honour of His Name, we pray for a
burning desire to seek God’s will- that His Kingdom will
come. And in light of those truths we pray for ourselves-
that He will provide for us, that He will keep us from
temptation and that He will forgive us.
Do you not know how to pray? Or do we have a
shallow, small view of God? Come to God as a child comes
to their parent and when you are home this afternoon, in the
quiet of your home open again to this passage in Luke 11
and read it as a prayer to God the Father.
2. Pray on!
The Lord Jesus does more than simply teach us how to
pray - He deals with our hearts and our motivations- He
goes on and tells a story to encourage us to pray. Do you
feel discouraged at times? Of course we all do! Well, then
learn from our Lord here- we are to persevere in prayer -
He tells the story of someone going to their friend to
ask for three loaves of bread. Not usual perhaps, except that
it is midnight and his friend is asleep, tucked up in bed. But,
what else could he do? There are no shops open at midnight.
What a hassle, though! And at first the man won’t get up-
verse 7, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked,
and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and
give you anything.' “go away, I am asleep- I don’t want to
disturb the household.”
The point is that God is not like the reluctant friend
who needs to be woken up- God neither slumbers nor
sleeps- and as our Father, He delights to hear from His
children. There is an old hymn by John Newton that strikes
the perfect note here. He says to us;
Thou art coming to a King,
Large petitions with thee bring;
For His grace and power are such,
None can ever ask too much;
The point is that we are the person coming to God,
asking for bread as it were. Do you see our position? We are
the one knocking on the door at midnight asking for the
three loaves of bread. And in Jesus’ story what was it about
the man that is commended? It is his boldness or the
unashamedness in asking.
There is a holy boldness in prayer. We come humbly,
we pray for God’s will to be done, yet we also come boldly
or unashamedly to our Father. Jesus says, "Ask and it will
be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the
door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks
receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the
door will be opened.
Are you discouraged in prayer? Well, be encouraged
and be strengthened. Because of the man’s boldness-
because he is unashamed, his friend will give him as much
bread as he needs.
3. God is a good Father
Finally, why pray on, because God is a good Father.
Prayer is difficult. Prayer is like wrestling- that is what Paul
says about Epaphras in Colossians- Epaphras is “always
struggling on [behalf of the Christians in Collose] in his
prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in
all the will of God.” Yet, Christ Jesus encourages us to pray
on, because God is a good Father! That is a great
The example that He uses is ridiculous and it is mean to
be. The comparison is meant to teach us how good God is: 11
"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will
give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will
give him a scorpion? (“Dad, I’m feeling hungry, what’s for
dinner?” And Dad gives a dangerous snake or a dangerous
scorpion- either of which could kill you!) 13 If you then,
though you are evil (all earthly fathers will fail and are
inherently fallen by nature, but if even you), know how to
give good gifts to your children, how much more will
your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who
The Holy Spirit is the greatest gift that anyone could ever
receive. Why? He seals us for redemption. He is the
assurance that we belong to God. He affirms in us the truths
about God! He lives within us. He makes us long and cry
out to God. He works powerfully within us to make us more
like Christ. He gives us good gifts to serve God’s people and
honour God. He produces in us His Fruit- love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and
All Christians- all who are true believers- have the Holy
Spirit. Yet, we also pray earnestly that He will fill us again
and again- so that we may honour God in all situations. And
that is what it seems to be here- will not God as a good
Father who has in mind what is best for His children, pour
out the Holy Spirit upon His people who ask Him. Of course
He will! He will not always answer as we want- but since
God is good, He will always answer in His goodness- and
He will give His Holy Spirit to those who ask.
During the week I picked up a very small book entitled
Enough. It was written by a British lady called Helen
Rosevere. She was a missionary in the Congo, Africa, and
faced some of the most difficult and horrible things you
could imagine. She is writing about how Christ Jesus is
enough for her and all her needs- and she quotes these lines-
they capture it so well;
Grace sufficient he’ll provide you,
Grace in just the way you need;
Grace to save you, grace to guide you,
Grace from sin to keep you freed;
Grace that you may stand unmoving,
Grace in conflict to succeed;
Grace sufficient, always proving
His is wondrous grace indeed.