Text: Luke 11:1-13 Theme: Jesus wants us to know how to fervently and effectively. Key verses: “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray…'” (v. 1) “He said to them, ‘When you pray, say…'” (v. 2) “Then he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight…'” (v. 5) “‘I tell you…because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you: Ask…seek…knock'” (v. 8-9) “‘If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!'” (v. 13) What God said to me: Slow down, Dwayne. Soak in this passage. Stop. Read it again slowly. Dwayne, the key here is persistence that comes from bold faith. First of all, notice that Jesus set the example of prayer before his disciples. They saw him pray consistently and fervantly. And they saw the results of his praying every day as he walked and taught and healed. Second, notice that Jesus was more than willing to teach them how they too could pray such effective prayers. Third, he taught them that all prayer to me should begin with reverence, acknowledging me as supreme God in heaven. Fourth, Jesus taught them the importance and necessity of inconvenient persistence. Prayer that gets results will be inconvenient for you and–to some, at least–appear as a possible nuisance to me. That is because you will be so desperate and determined that you will rise at midnight to pray. You will pray for hours at a time if need be. You will hound me until you get an answer. Like Jacob with the angel, you will not let me go until I bless you. Fifth and finally, Jesus wanted his disciples to know that any level of expectation you would normally have through persistence with others pails compared to what you should therefore expect from me, your heavenly, perfect, powerful and loving Father. It grieves me when my children don’t come to me with their desires and burdens and concerns and dreams. Cast your cares on me, for I care for you. Simple, you don’t have because you don’t ask–or you ask with selfish motives. I want to bless you, to expand your borders, to use you and your family beyond what you can ask or think. Trust me, try me, prove me. Ask, seek, and knock over and over and over again. What I said to God: Holy God, I am so thankful You had me read this passage again. I want these truths to “soak in” this thick skull of mine and this stubborn heart of mine. I am desperate. I cannot live or breath or dream without You. Lord, teach me to pray. Then may my family, my wife, my boys, my church see the fruit from my persistent and bold prayers to You, my heavenly and faithful Father.
22. April 2008 Luke 0