Text: Luke 11:1-13
He was praying in a certain place…
Prayer seems to be a central concern of the author of Luke and Acts. Together, these two books contain nearly 40% of all the references to prayer in the entire New Testament. Luke is the only one of the Gospel writers to describe Jesus as praying after being baptized (3:21), withdrawing into the wilderness to pray (5:16), praying on a mountain before calling the disciples (6:12), praying before he asks the disciples “Who do they say I am?” (9:18), going up the mountain to pray and being transfigured “as he was praying” (9:28), being asked by his disciples while he is praying to “Teach us to pray,” (11:1), telling his disciples to pray for strength (21:36), praying for Simon’s faith (22:32), telling the disciples twice to pray in Gethsemane (22:40), and praying so that his sweat was “like drops of blood” (22:44, appearing in some early manuscripts).
In addition, Luke alone describes three parables about prayer; two of which often puzzle the reader:
- Friend at midnight (11:5-8)
- Persistent widow (18:1-5)
- The Pharisee and the tax collector praying in the temple (18:9-14)
If Jesus was a prayerful person, what do you make of the fact that the other gospel writers do not emphasize that aspect of his life as much? What difference does it make to your understanding of Jesus to highlight his prayerfulness? How do you imagine Jesus’ prayer? How do you understand your own praying?
– Andy Kille
“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC. For details and subscription information, see About BibleWorkbench.