Luke 11: 1-4 – The World of the Text (part two)

rootedchristThis week we are going deeper into a passage that you most likely know pretty well.  The Lord’s Prayer. We are going to be looking at the version fo the prayer that is found in Luke, specifically Luke 11: 1-4.  We’ll follow the  same pattern that we’ve been going by this year, one day of the world behind the text, at least one day of the world of the text, at least one day of the world in front of the text

Today I want to continue looking at what is actually happening on the page of our text, the world of the text.  You can read yesterday’s part one on the world of the text by clicking here.

Today, we pick up the prayer to give us this day our daily bread.  The Greek focuses more on the “daily” nature of this than upon the “bread.”  In other words, this is about trusting God not just the specifics of food that will need for this day (though that is part of it), but it is about trust God with giving us we need for life itself today.  Jesus tells us that we are to trust God for what we need to live today. God will take care of us this day.

In other words, our strength for living comes not from our self or our goodness or our stuff, but our strength for living comes from God.  Today, God will take care of us.  We pray this to remind us that.  We pray that for the strength to believe it.  We pray this for the faith to hold on to this truth.  Praying this helps the truth of God’s provision move from our head to heart.  We need to not just know that God will take care of us today, but we need to all that truth to sink deep into our hearts, calming our worries and soothing our souls.

Next, we are to pray, forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us (the text in the NRSV says that who are indebted to us).  I think the thing that can be difficult for us is when we read a passage like this, we can begin to think “transitionally.”  In other words, if I do this, God will do that. This prayer is not about getting God to do something, but it is stating a truth.  Forgive us our sin, as we forgive their sins. This notion of God’s forgiveness of us and our forgiveness of others really do go hand in hand.  When we understand the great grace given to us by God, we can’t help forgive others in the same way.  In some beautiful ways, grace begets grace.  The more we know grace, the more we give grace.  God forgives us.  We forgive others.  This is not saying that one makes the other happen, it is stating the truth. When we know God’s love, we will find ourselves compelled to tell others.  Forgive us and we forgive them.

And finally, within this prayer, do not bring us in the time of trial.  In other words, protect us.  I think a lot about Jesus and the trials that we see Him face in scripture.  I think that’s one reason why He prayed this and taught us to pray it.  He was tempted in the desert and He also before the crucifixion prayed that the Lord would take that cup from Him.  Jesus knew what it was like to have real times of real trials.  Jesus here is telling us to pray for protection.  Pray for help.  Pray for guidance.  Pray for God’s grace to lead in the midst of difficult times. Seek God in all of life, but especially in our struggles and in pain.  And God will protect us.  He will guide us.  He will lead us.  Pray for that guidance.

One final thing, Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer is shorter than the traditional one that we pray in church.  The version most of us are familiar with traces its origin back to the King James Version of the Bible. Here’s a really good comparison at how it has been “prayed” by English speakers for centuries:

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