"Give us each day our daily bread..." (11:3). This petition, in the present tense, indicates a request to "keep giving us, from day to day, the sustenance we need." As God sustains us each day, let's pray for the Holy Spirit to strengthen our determination to see to it that others with less than us get that sustenance too.
"Forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us..." (11:4). Forgiveness is a central theme of Luke-Acts (1:77, 3:3, 5:20-24, 7:47-49, 12:10, 23:34, 24:47; Acts 2:38, 5:31, 10:43, 13:38, 26:18). The Sermon on the Plain has made the connection between forgiving and being forgiven (6:37-38). Then and now communities and families cannot thrive unless their members both forgive and admit their need to be forgiven. The two are inextricably tied together. Let's pray to God to give us the gift of the Holy Spirit that we might both forgive and accept forgiveness.
"Do not bring us to the time of trial..." (11:4b). Then and now, Christians will endure difficulties and trials. Let's ask God for the Holy Spirit to help us resist temptations and be strengthened for the challenges of the life of discipleship.
Come on over from the coffee shop next door where you're shelling out your hard earned cash for an overpriced breakfast. Look, the breakfast buffet is all lined up before you. Come on over and lift up the silver lid. There, nestled inside, is the delicious truth that if you ask for the Holy Spirit, it will be given to you.
Who knew? Jesus did. Luke did. And now, thanks to Luke 11:13, so do we.
John Gillman, Luke: Stories of Joy and Salvation (New City Press, 2002).