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The Seventh Sunday After Pentecost C – July 24, 2022

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The Seventh Sunday After Pentecost C – July 24, 2022

Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. The teaching begins with an intimate salutation, “Father.” In this address, the sovereign Lord of the entire cosmos stoops down from transcendent almightiness, becoming as embraceable as the earthly father who receives hugs from his children. And, as the further comments (vs. 5-13) demonstrate, the “father” addressed in this prayer proves extravagant and profligate with his gifts. Our Father in Heaven wants to give and so he bids us ask.

The little parable of the needy friend that follows (vs. 5-8) is so outrageous in its violation of their social customs that it would have been heard as a humorous illustration. No friend would have approached another at midnight. No guest would have arrived at such a late hour. None would have acted out of annoyance having refused to act out of friendship. Ha Ha. The humor emphasizes persistence in prayer. The Heavenly Father gives so abundantly that he expects his children to ask with abundance—that is, persistently.

Jesus continues the commentary (vs. 9-12) by expressing both the simplicity of prayer and the extravagance of the response. How do you receive? Ask! How do you find? Seek! How will it be opened to you? Knock! Jesus sets forth no qualifications on who may do the asking, the seeking, and the knocking. The “one” is an all-encompassing generic. To this multitude of potential prayer, the Heavenly Father simply pours forth his extravagance.

To conclude this teaching on prayer, Jesus makes a comparison (vs. 13). If evil fathers give good gifts to their children, the Heavenly Father will surely give the best gift of all to the ones who pray to him. The best gift of all is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has yet to be poured out upon the disciples, but Jesus anticipates it, nonetheless. The Father’s answer to prayer will be found in the Word of God through which the Holy Spirit works faith in Christ. In that faith, the children of the Heavenly Father have all things because they now live from the abundance of the new creation rather than the scarcity of this sin-broken world.

Table Talk: Discuss the Holy Spirit as the answer to prayer.
Pray: Heavenly Father, give me the Holy Spirit that I would have all good things. Amen

Luke 11:1-13 English Standard Version

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father, hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come.

3 Give us each day our daily bread,

4 and forgive us our sins,

    for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.

And lead us not into temptation.”

5 And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him; 7 and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. 9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 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!”