Readings for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Genesis 18:17-33; Colossians 2:6-19; Luke 11:1-13

Why do we pray? There are a number of Biblical answers to that question, including but not limited to 1) because God commands it, 2) because we need things that only He can provide, and 3) because it’s an important way that we exercise of faith in Him. But the readings for Sunday suggest yet another answer to the question: We pray because a prayer-filled life shows us God’s character and helps us to know Him better.

It was through his repeated prayers to the LORD on behalf of the doomed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah that Abraham witnessed both the LORD’s perfect justice and His willingness to show mercy. In Abraham’s fervent pleas we are reminded of our Savior’s greatest prayer: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!” (Gen 18)

When the disciples ask Jesus for instructions on how to pray, he gives them a short version of the Lord’s Prayer. He follows this with parabolic sayings that teach us about God Himself. He is our true Father and Friend – a generous Giver who promises the gift of His Spirit to any who ask. (Lk 11)

In the Epistle lesson, Paul exalts our Lord Jesus as Christus Victor – the victorious Christ. Jesus has triumphed over all rulers and authorities, both political and spiritual, for the sake of his Church. We claim this victory now as an article of faith; it will be manifested visibly before the world on the day of Christ’s return (Col 2)