What does Luke 11:1 mean?
ESV: Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
NIV: One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.'
NASB: It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, when He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.'
CSB: He was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples."
NLT: Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, 'Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.'
KJV: 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.
NKJV: Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
Verse Commentary:
Luke often focuses on Jesus praying (Luke 3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18, 28). Jesus is God the Son, the second person of the Trinity. He has an eternal relationship with the Father and Spirit so close we cannot fathom its depth. During His incarnate ministry on earth, that closeness is often expressed through times of prayer, both in solitude and when among His disciples. He models how we need to communicate with the Trinity. We need to intentionally take the time to speak and listen to God. We will never be as close to the Father as the Son is, but prayer, obedience, and knowing His Word are essential to growing in our faith.

The writers of the Gospels tended to give chronological accounts from Jesus' birth to His temptation and from His entrance into Jerusalem through His resurrection. The part in the middle, His ministry, is often developed thematically, not chronologically. With that in mind, it's interesting to find Luke grouping three stories about prayer (Luke 11:1–13) before a longer section about the Jewish religious leaders' rejection of Jesus (Luke 11:14–54). We do need God's help to keep our faith strong to resist false teaching and speak the truth.

Looking closer, we find the Lord's Prayer is related to His commission of the Twelve and the seventy-two disciples to go out to the surrounding towns to heal, cast out demons, and proclaim the kingdom of God (Luke 9:1–6; 10:1–12). The first instruction Jesus gave the seventy-two was to pray that God would send more workers to "harvest:" to bring people to repentance and loyalty to God's kingdom (Luke 10:2). Even if the stories are not in chronological order, it's interesting to see how the Holy Spirit placed them.

We have no account of how John taught his disciples to pray. We know John's disciples added fasting to their prayers while Jesus' didn't (Luke 5:33).
Verse Context:
Luke 11:1–4 is the last in a series of stories about the blessings people receive when they follow Jesus. In three sub-sections, Jesus teaches the disciples about prayer (Luke 11:1–13). First, He provides "The Lord's Prayer" which illustrates how completely dependent we are on God (Luke 11:1–4). Next, Jesus will challenge the disciples to trust that God works for their good, better than a friend or even a father. The Lord's prayer is also recorded in Matthew 6:9–13, although possibly at a different time and event.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus teaches the disciples how to pray and explains God's intent to give "good" to those who ask. He then exorcizes a demon and refutes the claim that His power is satanic. Jesus explains that unreasonable skeptics will only see the "sign of Jonah." He then criticizes the superficial legalism of the Pharisees. In response, they plot against Him.
Chapter Context:
In what some scholars refer to as "The Travelogue to Jerusalem" (Luke 9:51—19:27), Jesus prepares His disciples for His crucifixion and resurrection and the establishment of the church. The description begins with Christ teaching the disciples how to spread the news of the kingdom of God and reaffirming how they will be blessed, culminating in the Lord's Prayer (Luke 9:51—11:13). Luke 11 finishes with accounts of leaders who reject Jesus. The remainder of the travelogue gives a pattern of teaching on the kingdom of God, miracles, and explanations of salvation. Then Jesus enters Jerusalem to face the cross.
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
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