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The Lord's Prayer

Jul 28, 2019

Passage: Luke 11:1-13

Preacher: Rev. Dr. Alfonso Espinosa

Category: Sunday, Pentecost

Detail:

Introduction: Jesus SET TO GO…

  1. Again, this required great determination to set His face like flint to go to Jerusalem. Our Savior knew exactly what was waiting for Him.
  2. As we are following Him, then we know what waits for us.
  3. And when we are clear about what waits for us, it is because we know what the Word of God teaches about following Christ.
  4. Some foolishly assume that it means life gets easier.
  5. The truth is that we know there will be a cross, Mt 16:24
  6. Why does God allow this?

He leads us to learn to __________________________________.

  1. We need instruction along the way. We need to know how to remain disciples.
  2. Last Sunday was on the one thing needful: the constant reception of God’s Word.
  3. Today is the complement to this Godly discipline.
  4. God speaks to us through His Word, now we speak back…
  5. With this we see the full view of the Christian life:
  6. Prayer (we speak to God)
  7. Word (He speaks to us)
  8. Cross (in holy vocation)

 

  1. But how do we speak to God?! And this is a legitimate question. Sometimes we get the impression from some Christians that this is extremely easy, but in the face of our sin, the world, and the devil, prayer is not as easy as one might imagine.

 

  1. So, a bold disciple – we don’t know who – was both reverent and familiar with the Lord, and He came making a great request (ironically, it was a prayer asking…)

Luke 11:1: “Lord, teach us to pray…”

Part I: How to Address God

  1. Call God “Father”

Luther: What does this mean?

Answer: “With these words God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear father.”

  1. While earthly fathers all fall short of the true Father, here we are taught that all of us have a perfect Father, our Heavenly Father! He knows our great need and with great compassion, He welcomes our petitions. What is especially important is that we know how we may approach Him in prayer!

 

  1. Children of God who know Him as Father are BOLD!

Last week: on her own Ellie called out to me: “Abuelo! Ice!” (she took the initiative to make sure her grandmother recovering from knee surgery had fresh ice for her knee)!

  1. So here we will jump ahead to the parable within today’s gospel at vss 5-8 [read]:

 

  1. This is an argument from lesser to greater.
  2. IF this story (the lesser one) is true, THEN God’s faithfulness for us (the greater story) is even MORE guaranteed and assured!
  3. This “friend” comes in the dead of night (the original is not “midnight,” but middle of the night…worst possible time!) … (verse 5).
  4. Verse 5: “give me three loaves” …say what? In this time and culture “three loaves” wasn’t something you just pulled out of the bread box!
  5. What audacity!!!
  6. Verse 8: Christ says that this “friend” got what he wanted NOT because he was a friend, “yet because of his impudence”
  7. Shamelessness!
  8. Above reproach!

 

  1. But the fact that God is Father to you Christian makes the circumstances far, far greater IN YOUR FAVOR:
  2. This is not about friendship-love, but rather for you, agape-love; a MUCH GREATER love that God has for you.
  3. You don’t have to worry that you’re buggin’ God in the dead of night, because He is active and attentive to your needs 24/7!
  4. And furthermore, you have this, to borrow from Gerhard:
  5. God’s omnipotent kindness
  6. God’s unfailing truthfulness
  7. Christ’s intercession as our mediator
  8. The Holy Spirit’s work

 

  1. Therefore, we honor God in true faith when we ask as His dear children…when we do, we are expressing faith that He is our true Father!

Aug: “Let then the slothfulness of men be put to shame; He is more willing to give, than we to receive; He is more willing to show mercy, than we to be delivered from misery.” (The Lutheran Study Bible, pg. 1736)

  1. Vss 9-10 are not three different kinds of prayer, but an ascending climax…emphasizing what our attitude should be!

This is what a living faith DOES!

  1. Vss 11-12: Not random illustrations: a certain fish in Palestine seemed as a snake; and a curled white scorpion could appear as an egg. The point is that God is not going to give counterfeit, deceptive, or evil answers to our prayers, but good ones! Needful ones!

Part II: 2 ½ petitions for us and God

  1. “Hallowed be your name.”
  2. “Your kingdom come”
  3. As Luther taught, God’s Name is holy without our prayer and that God’s kingdom (or reign) comes without our prayer…soooo, why are we praying for these things?

Answer: “So that His Name would be holy in __________________.”

Answer: “So that He would reign in _________________________.”

  1. What is the ½?

The petition, “Give us each day our daily bread.” Is both about our relationship with God and about our relationship with others and the world.

The Small Catechism only expresses our earthly need, however,

In other writings, Luther clearly taught another respect. In his Personal Prayer Book (1522) Luther wrote, “This bread is our Lord Jesus Christ who feeds and comforts the soul. Therefore, O heavenly Father, grant grace that the life, words, deeds, and suffering of Christ be preached…Help us through his death to overcome our own death with a firm faith and thus boldly follow our beloved Guide into the life beyond this one…At our life’s end do not let us be deprived of the holy and true body of Christ. Help all priests to administer and use the sacred sacrament worthily and blessedly…Graciously help us and all other Christians to receive the holy sacrament at the proper time. And in brief, give us our daily bread so that Christ may remain in us eternally and we in him.” (Just, Concordia Commentary, Luke 9:51-24:53, CPH. 467 where Just quotes from LW 43:34-35)

Part III: 2 ½ petitions and our other needs

  1. The same petition is also about our daily needs here on earth and in time. We ask God, “give continually!” Jesus is teaching us to pray this way! You can’t ask too much!

 

  1. Vs 4: “and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.”

 

  1. Sin represents a debt.
  2. We are indebted to God, but He forgives our debt to Him! What a debt we have been forgiven!
  3. Forgiving others, therefore, is an expression of FAITH in how we have been forgiven!
  4. Not to forgive others is a sign that we don’t really believe we’ve been forgiven!
  5. But Christ’s blood has covered ALL sin!
  6. So, we pray essentially, “we do constantly forgive” as God in Christ constantly forgives us!
  7. To forgive is another way of saying, “I believe in the Gospel!”
  8. This addresses our greatest NEED: our sins forgiven!

 

  1. Vs 4: “And lead us not into temptation.”

Here, we acknowledge that there are temptations all around us, but here we pray that none of them would TRAP us!

Conclusion: How Can We Pray This Way?

Last verse, vs 13:

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

  1. Because our Lord shed His blood for you, He has no intention of losing you!
  2. So, He had you baptized!
  3. In this gift, He gave you a Helper: God the Holy Spirit!
  4. He is your greatest gift…He gives you through the Word and Sacrament of Christ a living faith!

We pray for Him to come every day! We pray for His blessing upon us every day! And He is freely given, because Christ died and rose for sinners! The Father is glad to give you His Spirit and the Spirit is glad to keep you in Christ! So pray Christian, pray the Lord’s Prayer everyday and rejoice, because the Father will continue to answer every petition you pray!