Theology of Prayer: Scriptural Support (Part 19: Luke)

In Luke 1, we find that a worship assembly was praying outside. Zechariah was among the assembly, and he was the priest chosen to go into the temple and burn incense. He went into the temple where he was met by an angel who told him that his prayer had been heard. We know not what he prayed, but the answer to his prayer is reported: “Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. . . .” We see two things here: assemblies may pray; we can pray for offspring.

In Luke 2, we find that a prophetess stayed in the temple fasting and praying, worshipping night and day. Here we see that prayer can be coupled with fasting, and both are a form of worship.

In Luke 3, we find that prayer is coupled with baptism.

In Luke 5, we see that Jesus heals a man with leprosy; in fact, he healed crowds of people in need of healing. Again we see that healing is coupled with prayer, for “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” What we see is not only is prayer a counterpart to healing, but it is or can be a solitary practice. Also in Luke 5, Jesus and his disciples are questioned for not fasting and praying. Jesus responds that the disciples need not fast while the bridegroom is present, but rather they will fast when the bridegroom has been taken from them. Here we see that there is a time to fast and pray and a time to refrain.

In Luke 6, we see that Jesus spends a night praying on a mountainside. Here we see that prayer can be done all night long. Furthermore, Jesus charges his disciples to pray for their enemies, those who mistreat them.

In Luke 9, we see that Jesus was praying in private, though his disciples were with him. Again we find prayer as a solitary practice. Later, Jesus takes Peter, John, and James with him on a mountain to pray. Again we find prayer on a mountain.

In Luke 11, Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray.

Father, let your name be holy, let your kingdom come, give us each day our daily bread, forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us, and lead us not into temptation.

He uses a parable to show that those who ask do not trouble God and will be answered with good things.

In Luke 18, Jesus teaches his disciples to be persistent in prayer in seeking justice. In a parable comparing a seemingly righteous Pharisee and an unrighteous tax collector, Jesus declares that the former who prayed, fasted, and tithed was not justified like the latter who prayed humbly. He concludes that God wants us to pray in humility.

In Luke 19, Jesus clears the temple of the marketers, quoting Is 56:7 and Jer 7:11: “‘My house will be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'”

In Luke 20, Jesus warns against teachers of the law who devour widows’ houses and make lengthy prayers for eye-service. He states that they will be punished most severely.

In Luke 21, Jesus teaches about the end of the temple, and he tells his disciples to pray that they will escape its destruction.

In Luke 22, Jesus, in response to the disciples’ quarrel about the greatest among them, states that he has prayed for Peter not to lose faith. Later, Jesus goes to Mount Olives to pray with his disciples present. He instructs them to stay in one place and pray, and he goes off on his own to pray. He asks God to take away the cup, but yields to His will. In anguish, he prayed even more earnestly. Returning to the disciples, he found them sleeping, and again instructs them to stay and pray. Here we see that we can pray to keep faith.