Today’s reading is Luke chapter 11.
Does God really answer prayer? Going by what Jesus said here in Luke 11:1-13, not only does God answer prayer, he is waiting to bless us by answering our prayers. Why don’t we get more answers to prayer?
One reason is that we pray very differently than Jesus told us to pray. Verses 1-4 record what is called “The Lord’s Prayer” but should be called “The Lord’s Guide to Prayer.” Jesus was not telling us to pray this prayer in these words but rather to let the themes he touched on be the things that we talk to God about. Namely:
That more and more people would come to worship him and stand in awe of his holiness and greatness (“hallowed by thy name”). That his kingdom would finally arrive finishing the redemption of his elect and giving us a place to finally be the society he created us to be (“your kingdom come”). That he would provide for our daily needs not make all our dreams come true (“give us each day our daily bread”). That he would make us holy just as he has declared us to be (“forgive us our sins... and lead us not into temptation”). That he would give us the grace to resolve the relationships we have broken by our sins (“for we also forgive everyone who sins against us”). Jesus’ healing ministry shows us that God does care about our physical problems, but how often is our praying dominated by praying for ourselves and others to have physical healing? But do we pray for each other to avoid sin? Do we take time to worship God for who he is and ask him to save more people so that they can worship him? These are the things Jesus told us to pray for, so let’s let his instructions mold our own talks with God each day.