Lectio Divina: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lord, teach us to pray… — Luke 11:1


If something needs to be done, I like to do it the right way. And not just any right way, the best and most efficient way. The perfectionist in me can’t help it. It comes up more often than not in my own spiritual life, particularly in the context of prayer. I often get so obsessed with wanting to pray “the right way” that I often forget to actually pray. To my delight, and to our benefit, Jesus teaches us how to pray in today’s Gospel.

One of the disciples asks Jesus to teach him (and the others) how to pray like how John taught his disciples. Jesus shares with us what we know now as the “Our Father.” Jesus continues to share a story emphasizing persistence in prayer, comparing it to bothering a friend in the dead of night for some food. With consistency and persistence, you can get the three loaves of bread. He then presents us with three steps for prayer: ask, seek, and knock.

Jesus explains that if we ask, we’ll receive. If we seek, we’ll find. If we knock, the door will be opened to us. He then reminds us the Heavenly Father is good and won’t give us a snake if we ask for a fish. No matter what is on our hearts, no matter what it is that we’re longing for, the Father wants to hear our needs and to provide for them.


  1. Do I talk about prayer more than I actually pray?
  2. Do I bring my needs to the Lord?
  3. Do I bring my wants – my deepest desires – to Him as well?
  4. What line of the “Our Father” stands out to me?
  5. Am I asking, seeking, or knocking for something in particular?