Proper 12 Luke11:1-13 July 24, 2022

He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.”
     And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.      
     “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
1. First, Jesus instructs his listeners to pray. Then he tells them a story. Why do you suppose Jesus tells his listeners this story after giving them the prayer to pray? How do the two connect? Why might the prayer and story fit together? The third part of this lectionary puzzle is that Jesus follows the prayer and story with an admonition. Why might Jesus add this admonition to prayer and story? What is the thread that weaves through the three parts of these texts? How do they fit together for you?

2. Where today are those among us who knock on a door that will not be opened? Who among us hears the knock and responds? Who is searching for the door only to be greeted with a snake instead of the requested fish?

3. What does Jesus want you to know about being one of his disciples? What does he believe is most serious? What does Luke believe is most serious? How do you regard what Jesus is taking seriously in this three-part text?