We are studying Luke 11:1-13 for Sunday, February 23 [which will be the day after the church’s CAJUN DINNER, Saturday, 5-7 p.m.; PLEASE COME if you’re in the area!!]. The text is Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer, which our curriculum identifies as the “Disciples’ Prayer,” along with a parable and other teachings on prayer. [Some notes on the text are here.] Here are a few questions we might want to think about or discuss:

In verse 1, one of the disciples asks Jesus to “teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” We don’t know what, or how, John taught his disciples, but Jesus’s response here includes a concise model prayer, a parable, and the summary advice in verses 9-13. How would we “sum up” this teaching? How is Jesus teaching his disciples to pray?

[More personal] How do our own customary prayers or manner of praying compare to Jesus’s teaching in this passage? What would have to change to bring our own prayers more into line with these teachings of Jesus? What do we think we will do about that?

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In verse 2, Jesus’s model prayer is addressed to “Father.” In the rest of the text, do we get an impression of God, to whom we address prayer? What impression is that? What in this text gives us that impression?

How does our usual way of thinking about God compare to the impression Jesus gives us of God in this text? What do we appreciate about this understanding of God? Why? Is there anything we object to or dislike in this understanding of God? What is that? Why?

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Does the situation in Jesus’s parable in verses 5-8 seem to us to resemble the relationship between humans and God in any way? What way or ways? How is the relationship between humans and God different from the relationship described in the parable?

The word translated “persistence” in verse 8 could also be translated “shamelessness.” What would it mean to be “shameless” in prayer, do we think? Can we think of any examples? What are they?

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In verse 9, what do we think Jesus has in mind as the object of the disciples’ asking, searching, and knocking? Why do we think that?

[More personal] What do we ask, search, and knock for? How often would we say we do that? Why?

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travellers stopping for a conversation by a wooded stream