Reading Luke and Acts in 2020
Week 11 | Luke 11
Luke 11 Reflections and Questions
By Rev. Dr. Brian Clark
The eleventh chapter of Luke opens with the familiar words of “The Lord’s Prayer.” As the chapter continues, the focus seemingly moves from prayer to a roller coaster of subjects. We read about Jesus versus Beelzebub, the sign of Jonah, the lamp of the body, and woes pronounced by Jesus. How do we make sense of the scope and content of this chapter? Perhaps the chapter best makes sense if we read the entire chapter as a continuation of Jesus’ teaching on prayer. In verse four, Jesus prays, “and lead us not into temptation.” What would it teach us if we read the remainder of the chapter in light of the temptations we need God’s grace to avoid? Reading the chapter in this way would lead us to pray in the following ways:
-Lord, keep us from the temptation of praying half-heartedly. Deliver us from the temptation of praying only when we feel like it or when we believe our previous prayers have been answered to our satisfaction. Remind us continually that prayer is a relationship of dependence upon you. (vv. 5-10)
-Lord, save us from doubting your love and thinking that you have anything but the best in-store for us. Keep us praying in the power and presence of your Holy Spirit. (vv. 11-13)
-Lord, keep us from the temptation of doubting who you are. Remind us that there is more power in your smallest finger than any power of evil at work in the world today. (vv. 14-26)
-Lord, deliver us from the temptation of desiring your blessings without walking in obedience to your Word. (vv. 27-28)
-Lord, save us from the temptation of demanding new miracles while forgetting all you have done for us in the past. (vv. 29-32)
-Lord, keep us from the temptation of allowing our lives to be fueled by poor attitudes, cynicism, and negative criticism. May it be your love, your light, your grace, and your Spirit that empowers both our being and our doing. (vv. 33-36)
-Lord, deliver us from practicing a head-knowledge religion that is devoid of heart-sought justice for others in the world. (vv. 37-54)
Ask and it will be given you to you; seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who seeks finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Rev. Dr. Brian Clark is District Superintendent of the Athens-Elberton District.