Luke 11:1
And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XI.

(1) As he was praying in a certain place.—The facts of the case as here narrated, the common practice of the Jews, and the analogy of the prayers in John 11:41, Matthew 26:39, and, we may add, of the thanksgiving in Luke 10:21, Matthew 11:25, all lead to the conclusion that our Lord prayed aloud, and that some, at least, of the disciples heard Him. They listened, unable to follow, or to record what they had heard, and they wished to be able to enter into His spirit and pray as He prayed.

Teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.—It seems, at first sight, to follow from this that the disciple who asked this had not been present when the Sermon on the Mount was spoken. It is conceivable, however, that, knowing the pattern prayer which had then been given, he had thought it adapted for the multitude, and not for the special scholars and disciples—too short and simple as compared, on the one hand, with the devotions which John had prescribed to his disciples, as he prescribed also fasting and alms-giving (Matthew 9:14; Luke 3:11), and with the fuller utterances, as of rapt communion with God, of his Master. The prayers of John’s disciples were probably, like those of the Pharisees, offered three times a day, at the third, the sixth, and the ninth hours, and after the pattern of the well-known “Eighteen Prayers,” which made up the Jewish manual of private devotion.

Luke

HOW TO PRAY

THE PRAYING CHRIST

Luke 11:1
.

It is noteworthy that we owe our knowledge of the prayers of Jesus principally to the Evangelist Luke. There is, indeed, one solemn hour of supplication under the quivering shadows of the olive-trees in Gethsemane which is recorded by Matthew and Mark as well; and though the fourth Gospel passes over that agony of prayer, it gives us, in accordance with its ruling purpose, the great chapter that records His priestly intercession. But in addition to these instances the first Gospel furnishes but one, and the second but two, references to the subject. All the others are found in Luke.

I need not stay to point out how this fact tallies with the many other characteristics of the third Gospel, which mark it as eminently the story of the Son of Man. The record which traces our Lord’s descent to Adam rather than to Abraham; which tells the story of His birth, and gives us all we know of the ‘child Jesus’; which records His growth in wisdom and stature, and has preserved a multitude of minute points bearing on His true manhood, as well as on the tenderness of His sympathy and the universality of His work, most naturally emphasises that most precious indication of His humanity-His habitual prayerfulness. The Gospel of the King, which is the first Gospel, or of the Servant, which is the second, or of the Son of God, which is the fourth, had less occasion to dwell on this. Royalty, practical Obedience, Divinity, are their respective themes. Manhood is Luke’s, and he is ever pointing us to the kneeling Christ.

Consider, then, for a moment, how precious the prayers of Jesus are, as bringing Him very near to us in His true manhood. There are deep and mysterious truths involved with which we do not meddle now. But there are also plain and surface truths which are very helpful and blessed. We thank God for the story of His weariness when He sat on the well, and of His slumber when, worn out with a hard day’s work, He slept on the hard wooden pillow in the stern of the fishing-boat among the nets and the litter. It brings Him near to us when we read that He thirsted, and nearer still when the immortal words fall on our wondering ears, ‘Jesus wept.’ But even more precious than these indications of His true participation in physical needs and human emotion, is the great evidence of His prayers, that He too lived a life of dependence, of communion, and of submission; that in our religious life, as in all our life, He is our pattern and forerunner. As the Epistle to the Hebrews puts it, He shows that He is not ashamed to call us brethren by this, that He too avows that He lives by faith; and by His life-and surely pre-eminently by His prayers-declares, I will put my trust in Him.’ We cannot think of Christ too often or too absolutely as the object of faith; and as the hearer of our cries; but we may, and some of us do, think of Him too seldom as the pattern of faith, and as the example for our devotion. We should feel Him a great deal nearer us; and the fact of His manhood would not only be grasped more clearly by orthodox believers, but would be felt in more of its true tenderness, if we gave more prominence in our thoughts to that picture of the praying Christ.

Another point that may be suggested is, that the highest, holiest life needs specific acts and times of prayer. A certain fantastical and overstrained spirituality is not rare, which professes to have got beyond the need of such beggarly elements. Some tinge of this colours the habits of many people who are scarcely conscious of its presence, and makes them somewhat careless as to forms and times of public or of that of private worship. I do not think that I am wrong in saying that there is a growing laxity in that matter among people who are really trying to live Christian lives. We may well take the lesson which Christ’s prayers teach us, for we all need it, that no life is so high, so holy, so full of habitual communion with God, that it can afford to do without the hour of prayer, the secret place, the uttered word. If we are to ‘pray without ceasing,’ by the constant attitude of communion and the constant conversion of work into worship, we must certainly have, and we shall undoubtedly desire, special moments when the daily sacrifice of doing good passes into the sacrifice of our lips. The devotion which is to be diffused through our lives must be first concentrated and evolved in our prayers. These are the gathering-grounds which feed the river. The life that was all one long prayer needed the mountain-top and the nightly converse with God. He who could say, ‘The Father hath not left Me alone, for I do always the things that please Him,’ felt that He must also have the special communion of spoken prayer. What Christ needed we cannot afford to neglect.

Thus Christ’s own prayers do, in a very real sense, ‘teach us to pray.’ But it strikes me that, if we will take the instances in which we find Him praying, and try to classify them in a rough way, we may gain some hints worth laying to heart. Let me attempt this briefly now.

First, then, the praying Christ teaches us to pray as a rest after service.

The Evangelist Mark gives us, in his brief, vivid way, a wonderful picture in his first chapter of Christ’s first Sabbath-day of ministry in Capernaum. It was crowded with work. The narrative goes hurrying on through the busy hours, marking the press of rapidly succeeding calls by its constant reiteration-’straightway,’ ‘immediately,’ ‘forthwith,’ ‘anon,’ ‘immediately.’ He teaches in the synagogue; without breath or pause He heals a man with an unclean spirit; then at once passes to Simon’s house, and as soon as He enters has to listen to the story of how the wife’s mother lay sick of a fever. They might have let Him rest for a moment, but they are too eager, and He is too pitying, for delay. As soon as He hears, He helps. As soon as He bids it, the fever departs. As soon as she is healed, the woman is serving them. There can have been but a short snatch of such rest as such a house could afford. Then when the shadows of the western hills began to fall upon the blue waters of the lake, and the sunset ended the restrictions of the Sabbath, He is besieged by a crowd full of sorrow and sickness, and all about the door they lie, waiting for its opening. He could not keep it shut any more than His heart or His hand, and so all through the short twilight, and deep into the night, He toils amongst the dim, prostrate forms. What a day it had been of hard toil, as well as of exhausting sympathy! And what was His refreshment? An hour or two of slumber; and then, ‘in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed’ {Mark 1:35}.

In the same way we find Him seeking the same repose after another period of much exertion and strain on body and mind. He had withdrawn Himself and His disciples from the bustle which Mark describes so graphically. ‘There were many coming and going, and they had no leisure, so much as to eat.’ So, seeking quiet, He takes them across the lake into the solitudes on the other side. But the crowds from all the villages near its head catch sight of the boat in crossing, and hurry round; and there they all are at the landing-place, eager and exacting as ever. He throws aside the purpose of rest, and all day long, wearied as He was, ‘taught them many things.’ The closing day brings no respite. He thinks of their hunger, before His own fatigue, and will not send them away fasting. So He ends that day of labour by the miracle of feeding the five thousand. The crowds gone to their homes, He can at last think of Himself; and what is His rest? He loses not a moment in ‘constraining’ His disciples to go away to the other side, as if in haste to remove the last hindrance to something that He had been longing to get to. ‘And when He had sent them away, He departed into a mountain to pray’ {Mark 6:46; Matthew 14:23}.

That was Christ’s refreshment after His toil. So He blended contemplation and service, the life of inward communion and the life of practical obedience. How much more do we need to interpose the soothing and invigorating influences of quiet communion between the acts of external work, since our work may harm us, as His never did Him. It may disturb and dissipate our communion with God; it may weaken the very motive from which it should arise; it may withdraw our gaze from God and fix it upon ourselves. It may puff us up with the conceit of our own powers; it may fret us with the annoyances of resistance; it may depress us with the consciousness of failure; and in a hundred other ways may waste and wear away our personal religion. The more we work the more we need to pray. In this day of activity there is great danger, not of doing too much, but of praying too little for so much work. These two-work and prayer, action and contemplation-are twin-sisters. Each pines without the other. We are ever tempted to cultivate one or the other disproportionately. Let us imitate Him who sought the mountain-top as His refreshment after toil, but never left duties undone or sufferers unrelieved in pain. Let us imitate Him who turned from the joys of contemplation to the joys of service without a murmur, when His disciples broke in on His solitude with, ‘all men seek Thee,’ but never suffered the outward work to blunt His desire for, nor to encroach on the hour of, still communion with His Father. Lord, teach us to work; Lord, teach us to pray.

The praying Christ teaches us to pray as a preparation for important steps.

Whilst more than one Gospel tells us of the calling of the Apostolic Twelve, the Gospel of the manhood alone narrates {Luke 6:12} that on the eve of that great epoch in the development of Christ’s kingdom, ‘He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.’ Then, ‘when it was day,’ He calls to Him His disciples, and chooses the Twelve.

A similar instance occurs, at a later period, before another great epoch in His course. The great confession made by Peter, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ was drawn forth by our Lord to serve as basis for His bestowment on the Apostles of large spiritual powers, and for the teaching, with much increased detail and clearness, of His approaching sufferings. In both aspects it distinctly marks a new stage. Concerning it, too, we read, and again in Luke alone {Luke 9:18}, that it was preceded by solitary prayer.

Thus He teaches us where and how we may get the clear insight into circumstances and men that may guide us aright. Bring your plans, your purposes to God’s throne. Test them by praying about them. Do nothing large or new-nothing small or old either, for that matter-till you have asked there, in the silence of the secret place, ‘Lord, what wouldest Thou have me to do?’ There is nothing bitterer to parents than when children begin to take their own way without consulting them. Do you take counsel of your Father, and have no secrets from Him. It will save you from many a blunder and many a heartache; it will make your judgment clear, and your step assured, even in new and difficult ways, if you will learn from the praying Christ to pray before you plan, and take counsel of God before you act.

Again, the praying Christ teaches us to pray as the condition of receiving the Spirit and the brightness of God.

There were two occasions in the life of Christ when visible signs showed His full possession of the Divine Spirit, and the lustre of His glorious nature. There are large and perplexing questions connected with both, on which I have no need to enter. At His baptism the Spirit of God descended visibly and abode on Jesus. At His transfiguration His face shone as the light, and His garments were radiant as sunlit snow. Now on both these occasions our Gospel, and our Gospel alone, tells us that it was whilst Christ was in the act of prayer that the sign was given: ‘Jesus being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended’ {Luke 3:21 - Luke 3:22}. ‘As He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistening’ {Luke 9:29}.

Whatever difficulty may surround the first of these narratives especially, one thing is clear, that in both of them there was a true communication from the Father to the man Jesus. And another thing is, I think, clear too, that our Evangelist meant to lay stress on the preceding act as the human condition of such communication. So if we would have the heavens opened over our heads, and the dove of God descending to fold its white wings, and brood over the chaos of our hearts till order and light come there, we must do what the Son of Man did-pray. And if we would have the fashion of our countenances altered, the wrinkles of care wiped out, the traces of tears dried up, the blotches of unclean living healed, and all the brands of worldliness and evil exchanged for the name of God written on our foreheads, and the reflected glory irradiating our faces, we must do as Christ did-pray. So, and only so, will God’s Spirit fill our hearts, God’s brightness flash in our faces, and the vesture of heaven clothe our nakedness.

Again, the praying Christ teaches us to pray as the preparation for sorrow. Here all the three Evangelists tell us the same sweet and solemn story. It is not for us to penetrate further than they carry us into the sanctities of Gethsemane. Jesus, though hungering for companionship in that awful hour, would take no man with Him there; and He still says, ‘Tarry ye here, while I go and pray yonder.’ But as we stand afar off, we catch the voice of pleading rising through the stillness of the night, and the solemn words tell us of a Son’s confidence, of a man’s shrinking, of a Saviour’s submission. The very spirit of all prayer is in these broken words. That was truly ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ which He poured out beneath the olives in the moonlight. It was heard when strength came from heaven, which He used in ‘praying more earnestly.’ It was heard when, the agony past and all the conflict ended in victory, He came forth, with that strange calm and dignity, to give Himself first to His captors and then to His executioners, the ransom for the many.

As we look upon that agony and these tearful prayers, let us not only look with thankfulness, but let that kneeling Saviour teach us that in prayer alone can we be forearmed against our lesser sorrows; that strength to bear flows into the heart that is opened in supplication; and that a sorrow which we are made able to endure is more truly conquered than a sorrow which we avoid. We have all a cross to carry and a wreath of thorns to wear. If we want to be fit for our Calvary-may we use that solemn name?-we must go to our Gethsemane first.

So the Christ who prayed on earth teaches us to pray; and the Christ who intercedes in heaven helps us to pray, and presents our poor cries, acceptable through His sacrifice, and fragrant with the incense from His own golden censer.

‘O Thou by whom we come to God,

The Life, the Truth, the Way;

The path of prayer Thyself hast trod;

Lord! teach us how to pray.’


Luke 11:1-4. As he was praying in a certain place — Our Lord’s whole time was occupied, either in instructing his numerous followers, or in confirming his doctrine by miracles of mercy, wrought for the relief of the afflicted, or in the exercises of devotion. This evangelist has mentioned Christ’s praying much more frequently than any of the other evangelists. He tells us, Luke 3:21, when he was baptized he was praying; Luke 5:16, that he withdrew into the wilderness and prayed; Luke 6:12, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer; Luke 9:18, that he was alone, praying; and soon after, that he went up into a mountain, and as he prayed was transfigured, Luke 9:28-29; and here, that he was praying in a certain place. Whether he was now praying alone, and the disciples only knew that he was so, or whether he prayed with them, is uncertain; it is most probable they were joining with him. One of his disciples said, Lord, teach us to pray — Inform us what we ought especially to desire and pray for, and in what words we ought to express our desires and petitions. It seems this disciple had not been present when our Lord, in the beginning of his ministry, gave his hearers directions concerning their devotions; or, if he was present, he had forgotten what had then been said. As John also taught his disciples — The Jewish masters used to give their followers some short form of prayer, as a peculiar badge of their relation to them. This, it is probable, John the Baptist had done. And in this sense it seems to be, that the disciples now asked Jesus, to teach them to pray. Accordingly he here repeats that form which he had before given them in his sermon on the Mount, and likewise enlarges on the same head, though still speaking the same things in substance. And this prayer, uttered from the heart, and in its true and full meaning, is indeed the badge of a real Christian: for is not he such whose first and most ardent desire is the glory of God, and the happiness of man, by the coming of his kingdom? who asks for no more of this world than his daily bread, longing meantime for the bread that cometh down from heaven? and whose only desires for himself are forgiveness of sins (as he heartily forgives others) and sanctification? When ye pray, say — And what he said to them is undoubtedly said to us also. We are therefore here directed not only to imitate this in all our prayers, but frequently, at least, to use this very form of prayer. For an explanation of this prayer, see the notes on Matthew 6:9-13. There are some differences between the form in Matthew and this recorded here; by which it appears it was not the design of Christ that we should be always confined to the very words of either form; for then there would have been no difference between them. One difference, indeed, which the reader will probably notice, is in the translation only, which ought not to have been, where there is none in the original; and that is in the third petition, as in heaven, so in earth; whereas the words are the very same, and in the same order, as in Matthew; but there is a difference in the fourth petition: in Matthew we pray, Give us daily bread this day; here, give it us [καθημεραν] day by day: that is, Give us each day the bread which our bodies require, as they call for it; not, Give us this day bread for many days to come; but, as the Israelites had manna, let us have bread, to-day for to-day, and to-morrow for to- morrow; that thus we may be kept in a state of continual dependance upon God, as children upon their parents, and may have our mercies fresh from his hand daily; and may find ourselves under fresh obligations to do the work of every day in the day, according as the duty of the day requires, because we have from God the supplies of every day in the day, according as the necessity of the day requires. Here is, likewise, some difference in the fifth petition. In Matthew it is, Forgive us our debts, as we forgive; here it is, Forgive us our sins, (which proves that our sins are our debts,)

for we forgive; not that our forgiving those that have offended us can merit pardon from God, or be an inducement to him to forgive us; he forgives for his own name’s sake, and his Son’s sake: but this is a very necessary qualification for forgiveness: and if God have wrought it in us, we may plead the work of his grace, for the enforcing of our petitions for the pardon of our sins; Lord, forgive us, for thou hast thyself inclined us to forgive others. There is another addition here; we plead not only in general, we forgive our debtors, but in particular we profess to forgive every one that is indebted to us, without exception. We so forgive our debtors, as not to bear malice or ill-will to any, but true love to all, without any exception whatsoever. Here also the doxology in the close is wholly omitted, and the Amen; for Christ would leave his disciples at liberty to use that, or any other doxology, fetched out of David’s Psalms; or rather, he left a space here to be filled up by a doxology more peculiar to the Christian institutes, ascribing glory to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

11:1-4 Lord, teach us to pray, is a good prayer, and a very needful one, for Jesus Christ only can teach us, by his word and Spirit, how to pray. Lord, teach me what it is to pray; Lord, stir up and quicken me to the duty; Lord, direct me what to pray for; teach me what I should say. Christ taught them a prayer, much the same that he had given before in his sermon upon the mount. There are some differences in the words of the Lord's prayer in Matthew and in Luke, but they are of no moment. Let us in our requests, both for others and for ourselves, come to our heavenly Father, confiding in his power and goodness.As he was praying - Luke has taken notice of our Saviour's praying often. Thus, at his baptism Luke 3:21; in the wilderness Luke 5:16; before the appointment of the apostles, he continued all night in prayer Luke 6:12; he was alone praying Luke 9:18; his transfiguration also took place when he went up to pray Luke 9:28-29.

Teach us to pray - Probably they had been struck with the excellency and fervor of his prayers, and, recollecting that "John" had taught his disciples to pray, they asked him also to teach "them." We learn, therefore:

1. That the gifts and graces of others should lead us to desire the same.

2. That the true method of praying can be learned only by our being properly taught. Indeed, we cannot pray acceptably at all unless God shall teach us how to pray.

3. That it is proper for us to meditate beforehand what we are to ask of God, and to arrange our thoughts, that we may not come thoughtlessly into his presence.

CHAPTER 11

Lu 11:1-13. The Disciples Taught to Pray.

1. one, &c.—struck with either the matter or the manner of our Lord's prayers.

as John, &c.—From this reference to John, it is possible that disciple had not heard the Sermon on the Mount. Nothing of John's inner teaching (to his own disciples) has been preserved to us, but we may be sure he never taught his disciples to say, "Our Father."Luke 11:1-13 Christ teacheth to pray, assuring that God will give

all good things to them that ask him.

Luke 11:14-26 He casteth out a devil, and reproveth the blasphemy

of the Pharisees, who ascribed the miracle to the

power of Beelzebub.

Luke 11:27,28 He showeth who are the truly blessed,

Luke 11:29-36 and the inexcusableness of not believing his gospel.

Luke 11:37-54 He reprehends the outward show of holiness in the

Pharisees, and pronounces woes against them and the

scribes and lawyers.

This seemeth to be a different time from that mentioned by Matthew, where our Saviour directed his disciples to pray; there his direction was part of his sermon on the mount. Besides, the doxology or conclusion is there left out. It is said here,

as he was praying in a certain place. Christ looked upon all places as holy enough for prayer. It also looks as if at this time our Saviour was not at his more secret devotions, but with the twelve, (which were his family), praying with them.

When he ceased: this is very observable against those who pretend impulses of the Spirit, to disturb ministers in the time when they are praying and preaching; it may easily be known from what spirit such impulses are. The disciples of Christ often propounded questions to him after preaching, but never interrupting him in his work, nor before he was retired into a house. They now come to be informed about prayer, but they stay till he had first ceased. We having no account in holy writ of John’s disciples asking him, or his teaching of them to pray, are more at a loss to determine whether our Saviour did intend that his disciples should use these words, as the phrase here seemeth to import, or only pray in this sense,

after this manner, as Matthew saith; indeed nothing can be concluded from either phrase by any judicious person.

For as we read in many places in Scripture, that Christ answered and said, when it is manifest the meaning is, he spake words to that import or sense, (the evangelists reporting the words spoken with variations of expression), so when we pray we may say,

Our Father which art in, heaven, &c., though we do not use the same words and syllables.

And it came to pass that as he was praying,.... The following directions concerning prayer, though they agree with those in Matthew 6:9 &c. yet were delivered at another time, and in another place, and upon another occasion: Christ was then in Galilee, now in Judea: he gave the former directions unasked for, these at the request of one of his disciples; the other were given as he was preaching, these immediately after he had been praying; as soon as he had done a work he was often employed in, as man and mediator, on account of himself, his disciples, cause, and interest: and this was done

in a certain place; perhaps in the Mount of Olives, which was not far from Bethany, where we hear of him last, since this was a place where he used to abide in the night, and pray, Luke 21:37. The Arabic version reads, "in a desert place"; and after he had been at Bethany, he did go to a country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, John 11:54

when he ceased; from praying; when he had concluded his prayer, and finished all his petitions, and was off of his knees:

one of his disciples; perhaps one of the seventy disciples who had not heard the summary of prayer, and the directions about it before given on the mount, Matthew 6:9 The Persic version reads, "his disciples": as if they all united in the request:

and said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples, who, as Tertullian says (g), brought in a new order and method of praying, and gave his disciples some instructions and directions concerning it, much better than what the Jews in common had: and this disciple looking upon his Lord and master as much better qualified to give directions in this important affair than even John himself was, requests of him that he would; and what might put him upon it at this time seems to be, his observing that Christ had now been at prayer.

(g) Contr. Marcion. l. 4. c. 26.

And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 11:1-4. See on Matthew 6:9 ff. In Luke it is only apparent that the Lord’s Prayer is placed too late,[141] to the extent of his having passed it over in the Sermon on the Mount, and from another source related a later occasion for it (which, according to Baur, indeed, he only created from his own reflection). Hence its position in Luke is not to be described as historically more correct (Calvin, Schleiermacher, Olshausen, Neander, Ewald, Bleek, Weizsäcker, Schenkel, and others), but both the positions are to be regarded as correct.[142] Comp. on Matthew 6:9. So far as concerns the prayer itself, we have the full flow of its primitive fulness and excellence in Matthew. The peculiar and shorter form in Luke (see the critical remarks) is one of the proofs that the apostolic church did not use the Lord’s Prayer as a formula.

The matter of fact referred to in καθὼς καὶ Ἰωάννης κ.τ.λ. is altogether unknown. Probably, however, John’s disciples had a definitely formulated prayer given them by their teacher.

The τὶς τῶν μαθητῶν is to be regarded as belonging to the wider circle of disciples. After so long and confidential an intercourse of prayer with the Lord Himself, one of the Twelve would hardly have now made the request, or had need to do so. Probably it was a later disciple, perhaps formerly one of John’s disciples, who, at the time of the Sermon on the Mount, was not yet in the company of Jesus. The sight, possibly also the hearing of the Lord praying, had now deeply stirred in him the need which he expresses, and in answer he receives the same prayer in substance which was given at an earlier stage to the first disciples.

αὐτοῖς, Luke 11:2 : to the disciples who were present, one of whom had made the request, Luke 11:1. ἐπιούσιον] crastinum, see on Matthew 6:11.[143]

ΤῸ ΚΑΘʼ ἩΜΈΡΑΝ] needed day by day, daily. See Bernhardy, p. 329.

καὶ γὰρ αὐτοί] The special consideration placed before God for the exercise of His forgiveness, founded in the divine order of grace (Matthew 6:14; Mark 11:25), is here more directly and more strongly expressed than in Matthew.

ἈΦΊΟΜΕΝ] (see the critical remarks) from the form ἈΦΊΩ., Ecclesiastes 2:18; Mark 1:34; Mark 11:16. See generally, Fritzsche, ad Rom. I. p. 174.

παντὶ ὀφείλοντι ἡμῖν] to every one, when he is indebted to us (in an ethical sense). Comp. Winer, p. 101 [E. T. 138]. The article before ὈΦΕΊΛΟΝΤΙ is too weakly attested, and is a grammatical addition.

[141] Schenkel, p. 391, transposes the circumstance of the giving of the prayer to the disciples even to the period after the arrival in Judaea, since, indeed, the scene at Bethany, Luke 10:38 f., was already related. But Luke did not think of Bethany at all as the locality of this scene.

[142] Without, however, by means of harmonistic violence, doing away with the historical difference of the two situations, as does Ebrard, p. 356 f. In Luke, time, place, and occasion are different from what they are in Matthew, comp. Luke 6:17 ff.

[143] The attempt of Hitzig (in the Theol. Jahrb. p. 1854, 131) to explain the enigmatical word, to wit, by ἐπὶ ἴσου, according to which it is made to mean, the nourishment equivalent to the hunger, is without any real etymological analogy, and probably was only a passing fancy. Weizsäcker, p. 407, is mistaken in finding as a parallel the word ὑπεξούσιος in respect of the idea panem necessarium. This, indeed, does not come from οὐσία, but from ἐξουσία, and this latter from ἔξεστι. Moreover, the מחר of the Gospel to the Hebrews cannot betray that the first understanding of the word had become lost at an early date, but, considering the high antiquity of this Gospel, it can only appear as a preservation of the first mode of understanding it, especially as the Logia was written in Hebrew. In order to express the idea: necessary (thus ἀναγκαῖος, ἐπιτήδειος), there assuredly was no need of any free and, for that purpose, faulty word-making.

Luke 11:1-13 contain a lesson on prayer, consisting of two parts: first, a form of prayer suggesting the chief objects of desire (Luke 11:1-4); second, an argument enforcing perseverance in prayer (Luke 11:5-13). Whether the whole was spoken at one time or not cannot be ascertained; all one can say is that the instructions are thoroughly coherent and congruous, and might very well have formed a single lesson.

Luke 11:1-13. The Lord’s Prayer. Persistence in Prayer.

1
. And it came to pass that, as he was praying in a certain place] The better order is ‘as he was in a certain place, praying.’ The extreme vagueness of these expressions shews that St Luke did not possess a more definite note of place or of time; but if we carefully compare the parallel passages of Matthew 12:22-50; Mat 15:1-20; Mark 3:22-35, it becomes probable that this and the next chapter are entirely occupied with the incidents and teachings of one great day of open and decisive rupture with the Pharisees shortly before our Lord ceased to work in Galilee, and that they do not belong to the period of the journey through Peraea. This great day of conflict was marked (1) by the prayer of Jesus and His teaching the disciples what and how to pray; (2) by the healing of the dumb demoniac; (3) by the invitation to the Pharisee’s house, the deadly dispute which the Pharisees there originated, and the terrible denunciation consequently evoked; (4) by the sudden gathering of a multitude, and the discourses and incidents of chapter 12. For further details and elucidations I must refer to the Life of Christ.

praying] Probably at early dawn, and in the standing attitude adopted by Orientals.

as John also taught his disciples] The form of prayer taught by St John has perished. Terrena caelestibus cedunt, Tert.; John 3:30. It was common for Jewish Rabbis to deliver such forms to their disciples, and a comparison of them (e.g. of “the 18 Benedictions”) with the Lord’s Prayer is deeply instructive.

Luke 11:1. Ὡς ἐπαύσατο, when He ceased) Inasmuch as it was their duty not to interrupt Him before He had ceased.—τῶν μαθητῶν, of His disciples) Who either had heard the words of the Lord whilst praying, or at least had seen His most sweet and impressive gestures.—δίδαξον, teach) By this very fact they already pray, whilst in the act of begging that they should be taught how to pray. Most gratifying it was to the Master to be solicited that He should teach them, as also this very act of teaching. John had taught his disciples to pray; but not in such a way as that they should call God Father (although in other respects the formula of John was not widely different from the formula of Christ): it was a privilege reserved peculiarly to the Son of God to give this power to His disciples. Already He had given them it, in Matthew 6:9-10, but had suffered somewhat of an interval to elapse [during which it lay in abeyance], exhorting the disciples in common to pray, and leaving them to the ordinary custom of praying according to the common Isrealitish formula (for otherwise the disciples would not have quoted the example of John teaching his disciples to pray), until they had made sufficient progress in the knowledge of the Father and of the Son: when once this was accomplished, He then at last threw open to them the richest fulness of access to pray to the Father in the name of Himself, the Son; see John 16:23.—ἡμᾶς, us) The cause of the disciples was joint and common to them all: he who was making the request was making it even for others, as well as on his own behalf.—καὶ Ἰωάννης, John also) A good teacher ought even most especially to teach his own followers to pray aright. See Bernard’s “Scala Claustralium.” He cannot teach, who is himself ignorant [how to pray]. Moreover, there are degrees in prayer. John had taught how to pray; Christ also had taught it: now, when requested, He still further teaches those already far advanced.—[τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ, his disciples) Andrew, for instance, had been one of them (one of John’s disciples), John 1—V. g.]

Verses 1-13. - The Lord's teaching on the subject of prayer. Again the scene is far away from Jerusalem; no special note of time or place enables us to fix the scene or date with any exactness. Somewhere in the course of the last journeyings towards Jerusalem, related especially in this Gospel, did this scene and its teaching take place. Verse 1. - Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. It seems as though some of his disciples - we know at this period many were with him besides the twelve - heard their Master praying. It appeared to them - no doubt, as they caught here and there a word and expression as he prayed, perhaps partly alone, partly to him-self - as though a friend was speaking to a friend; they would pray like that: would not the Master teach them his beautiful secret? In reply, Jesus repeats to them, in rather an abbreviated form, what, at an earlier period of his ministry, he had taught to the multitudes and the twelve. It was very likely one of the seventy who made this request, who had not been present on the first occasion, when the Lord gave his prayer of prayers to the people. We have already remarked that at this time the twelve, who had heard it, were probably often absent on mission work. It was a usual practice among the more famous rabbis to give prayer-formulas to their pupils. We have no tradition extant of John the Baptist's prayer here alluded to. Luke 11:1
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