We read the Lord’s prayer before when we were reading the Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew two weeks ago.  However, this time when we reading in the book of Luke, Evan and Ian were quick to point out that it doesn’t sound right.  It’s not the full prayer and has missing parts.  The boys are able to recite the Lord’s prayer from memory, because we recite it together at church every week.  They keep asking why this prayer doesn’t have all of the phrases. 

Pastor Sung actually preached on this very passage a week ago, and John was able to explain and talk about this passage to us.  The Lord’s prayer is short and simplified, because Jesus is emphasizing the middle phrase, “give us this day our daily bread.”  After the prayer, Jesus starts telling a story about bread.  You have a friend who is visiting that arrives very late at night.  You don’t have any food to give him, so you go to a different friend, most likely a neighbor, asking if he can give you food.  In this culture, hospitality was very important.  If you have a visitor, you must be a good host, and it is not just your personal responsibility, but the community’s responsibility as well.  So for this person to go to his friend asking for food to feed his guest is understandable and completely valid.  This isn’t a timid request of a huge favor, but asking to do their obvious duty and obligation to show proper hospitality. That’s how the person was asking with “shameless audacity” (NIV) or “imprudence” (ESV).

So Jesus is telling us to ask like this person when we pray to God.  We understand what kind of a posture we need to have when asking, but what are we asking for?  Back to the prayer, and we remember we are to ask for God to give us this day our daily bread.  What is this daily bread?  It sounds like manna.  The very last verse in this passage gives us the answer.  We are to ask for the Holy Spirit.  We are asking God to reign over us so we can live according to his will and for his kingdom every day.

Amy Hwang

Amy Hwang

Amy is the Faith Formation Ministry Leader at Living Water CRC.

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