Luke 11.1-13  
Colossians 2.6-15, (16-19)   
Genesis 18.20-32
Psalm 138

We say it so often that we forget that the Lord’s Prayer was given as a sample prayer.  It outlines Jesus’ pattern for prayer, and as such it starts with an acknowledgement of God’s unique and distinctive character, the otherness or holiness of God. Then it takes up the major theme of Jesus’ whole life and ministry – God’s reign, God’s will being lived out in daily life. This is expressed as a request that God’s kingdom may come.  After that our thoughts may turn to our own needs – the basics necessary for life, symbolized by the expression, “Daily bread”. Aware of the goodness and holiness of God and the expectation that puts on us, we will became aware of our having missed the mark, so Jesus suggests that we go on to plead forgiveness for our sins. But this is not without obligations on our part. As we are forgiven by God we are to forgive those who go against what we would want to be done to us. Jesus’ whole life was lived in a society that was filled with apocalyptic expectations of troubles and afflictions about to come as a prelude to the final establishment of the uncontested kingdom of God, so Jesus suggested that his disciples pray for deliverance from this time of trial: do not bring us to the test. Deliver us from evil. Times of testing, temptation, and trouble will come in everyone’s life, but we can rely on God to bring us safely through. We are encouraged to place our trust in God through all such difficult times.

•·       How helpful do you find the Lord’s Prayer as a model for your own praying?
•·        In Luke 11:5-13 the behavior of the friend is contrasted with the willingness of God to answer prayer. How is this contrast drawn out?
•·        In Luke 11:9-13 Jesus says that God only gives good gifts. What if we ask for harmful or damaging gifts?
The rulers and authorities mentioned in Colossians 2:15 are the powers of evil abroad in the world. How then does this verse help us in our praying?