A myHT Fortress

Monday, July 26, 2010

Teach Us to Pray: A Homily on Luke 11:1-13

Luke 11:1-13

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Remember us in your kingdom, and teach us to pray. We join the disciples in asking Jesus to teach us to pray, as well.

Sure, we ask Jesus to teach us to pray, but then we have our own ideas. I want this. And I need that. And if He’s really listening, He will give me this item that I keep asking for. It is easy to get sidetracked and end up not praying for the true needs in life, but end up spending our conversation with God like a child on Santa’s lap.

Or maybe you are like Aladdin, carefully plotting out your wishes, to get the most out of Genie. Your Father in heaven has far more infinite cosmic power than that magical cartoon, and He desires what is sure and lasting for you in His kingdom.

You are not stuck with magical wishes to change the present. Instead, you age given answers from God that affect your eternity. He may not give you the answers you desire, or make everything easy, but the pain and suffering you endure in this life are given to you as a gift, with Jesus supporting and keeping and preserving you through it all.

So do you want Jesus to teach you to pray? Or don’t you? Today you hear our Lord Jesus give us His prayer. And what an amazing gift it is!

Fear not! You don’t need to be worried that you are saying the right words or might be forgetting something important. Our Savior hands you the very words and places them into your minds and hearts and mouths, that you may speak them back to the Lord!

The Lord’s Prayer is a most wondrous gift. Jesus Himself gives you the words to pray. So as you are speaking to God, He is speaking to you! Our Lord Jesus takes away all fear and concern that you may be praying selfishly, or incompletely. He has it all covered. He gives you perfect prayer.

Jesus comes to you today and keeps God’s name hallowed. In your own words and actions, you fail to perfectly and constantly keep God’s name holy. But our loving Lord removes that guilt and preserves God’s holy name among you.

Our Savior comes to you and He brings His kingdom with Him. As He showers His Baptism on you, fills your ears with His Word and places His Body and Blood in your mouths, He brings His kingdom.

We also pray about daily bread. Not just the “bread” of our day to day needs. Our Father provides that and much, much more. He has sent Jesus to be the Bread from heaven. The Lord comes in His Holy Supper and brings His Body to you in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. He is the ultimate Bread that feeds you – body and soul – that you may be completely nourished and prepared for life everlasting with Him.

In that gift of Holy Communion, Christ gives you forgiveness, life, and salvation. He forgives you, and leads you to share that forgiveness. It simply flows out of your cleansed and forgiven hearts.

And as His forgiven children, our Father in heaven leads you from temptation. Yes, sinful desires and invitations of iniquity are still around you. But our Father in heaven carries you through them. He delivers you from evil and provides that you are not surrounded and stuck in sin and its temptations.

Like people in other religions, or even the disciples, you may come to Christ with completely wrong ideas about prayer; ideas of arm-twisting and forcing God to do what you want, as if praying is like a magic spell. Or you may even feel funny about the Lord’s Prayer since you feel distracted every single time you pray it.

But our Father reminds you today not to worry, that this prayer is not all about you. It’s all about the Lord. He is the source and the focus of the prayer. He is the Giver of the Words as well as the Receiver!

This weekend we receive new members here at St. John’s. We thank the Lord for the gift of each other as we are gathered by Him and receive His gifts. And now as He hears the words He gives us to pray.

Now He welcomes you to come and receive the Daily Bread that He fills you with. Thanks be to God who gives you the precious gift of the ability to call on “Our Father!” Amen.

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