Luke 11:1-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Model Prayer
1 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.”
2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be doneOn earth as it is in heaven.
3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”
A Friend Comes at Midnight
5 And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;
7 and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’?
8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.
Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
11 If a son asks for bread[d] from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?
12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
"Lord, teach us to pray," a disciple said to Jesus.
--Is this your desire, your prayer?
--Some may say, "Why I've been praying all my life."
--That's great. So had these disciples. So have I.
--They heard Jesus pray, saw the amazing benefits.
--They wanted to pray better. To have God's best.
In Luke 11 Jesus answers their prayer, teaches them.
--First, the Lord's Prayer, as a model or pattern.
--Next, He gives an example, of asking for bread.
--Then our Lord gives ten encouragements (v 9-13).
--Nowhere else does Jesus deal with prayer as here.
--Teaches us to pray, and how to pray, for answers.
--Answers not always as we pray, but what is best.
--So we rejoice! Jesus "intercedes" for us also.
Prayer is not just getting our will done in heaven.
--It is for getting God's will done in us, on earth.
--For we "ought always to pray" Jesus said (Lk 18:1).
--You see God is "for" us, but Satan is "against us".
--To overcome trials, we all need the Lord's help.
A group from our Philadelphia church went on a picnic.
--To Ocean City, NJ, beach, with our families.
--Lots of games. Fun. Food. Swims. It was great.
--Some brought old, patched inflated inner tubes.
--To be used for water floats. I got in one.
--Enjoying the relaxation, I soon was too far out!
--When I looked back, I headed back - to safety!
--I not only hand-paddled - I prayed! Fervently.
--In danger you don't just say it - you pray it!
--I thank my God, many times, for His loving care.
Jesus uses the story of unexpected, hungry guests.
--Came "at midnight." But no food on hand to serve.
--He goes to a neighbor, in bed, to borrow bread.
--Neighbor says, "Trouble me not." He keeps asking.
--"Because of his persistence he will rise," (v 8).
--"And give him as many as he needs," Jesus declares.
--He's teaching us to keep praying! Patiently wait.
--First, "be born again" in Jesus, and "obey Him."
Here Jesus teaches vital elements of any real prayer.
I. ADDRESSING GOD - THE RIGHT GOD IN THE RIGHT WAY.
--In our world, all kinds of gods are prayed to.
--We know the One, True, Living God, Jesus revealed.
--We know Him as Father, Son, Holy Spirit; one God.
--How best to address God? Any of these, or Father.
--Jesus prayed, taught us to pray, to "Our Father".
--Taught us to close our prayer, "In Jesus' name."
All of us need a deep reverence and awe for our God.
--Sometimes we may lack in respect to our Creator.
--"From everlasting." Always was, will be.
--God is perfectly pure. Holy. Wise. All-loving.
--Here Jesus teaches, "Hallowed be Your name." Holy.
--We are not talking to another human being, but God!
--Let's show reverence, as we seek to speak to Him.
On the other hand, hesitate not to call on Him.
--He welcomes us. As a parent welcomes their own.
--A father watched his young son lift a heavy load.
--He was struggling. Having a difficult time of it.
--Dad asked, "Are you using all your resources, son?"
--"Of course," he snapped, "Can't you see?"
--His dad said, "No. You have not asked your father."
--His father waiting, to be called upon to help.
--Often like the lad, are we to our Heavenly Father.
As we pray, address God with reverence and faith.
II. PRAISING GOD - PRAYER SHOULD COMMENCE WITH PRAISE.
--Think of Who God is! All He's done. What He means.
--God deserves our praise. Often gets little.
--Begin each day or prayer, with praise to the Lord.
--You want "His kingdom to come; His will to be done."
--Then praise Him! For blessings yesterday and today.
--Let's respect, remember, Who God is! Does for us!
Jesus always offered praises, in His prayers.
In the prayer Jesus taught, it begins with praises.
--"Our Father in heaven .. Hallowed be Your name."
--When we love another, time with them is heavenly.
--Tell God you love Him. He longs to hear from you.
The Gospels show us how, and how often, Jesus prayed.
--He prayed early and late. Always before He ate.
--Prayed all through the day, for this one and that.
--Prayed, and miracles were wrought. Lives changed.
--Prayed all some nights. How about that?
--Prayed as He faced temptation, even Satan himself.
--Prayed as Jesus faced His cross .. and death for us.
--In Gethsemane, sweat "great drops of blood" praying.
--Concluding, "Not My will, but Thy will be done."
--As we read these prayers, Jesus praises the Father!
Nothing too small, too big, for Jesus to pray for.
--He fed thousands with a little lad's lunch.
--He healed multitudes of all manner of ills.
--He stilled the "angry waves of the sea" with "Peace".
--He arose from a rock-sealed, guarded tomb, "Alive!"
--Ascended into heaven, before their very eyes!
--Is there praying, "ever interceding" for you and me.
Don't you think this Almighty God deserves our praise?
--He is the "Giver of every good and perfect gift".
--The more we praise Him, the more to praise Him for!
--There is more that Jesus taught about prayer.
III. CONFESSING OUR SINS TO GOD. LET'S NOT FORGET.
--"Forgive us our debts," Jesus taught in His prayer.
--What does that mean? Forgive our sins. All sin.
--This part of prayer, note, Jesus never prayed!
--Didn't need to. Sinless. But we do need to.
Unconfessed sin hinders our prayers, persons, power.
--"If I regard iniquity in my heart," What's that?
--It means if any unconfessed sin, unrepented of.
--It continues,"the Lord will not hear me" (Psa 66:18).
--This, we see, is essential to have prayer answered.
Ask Him, "Lord, is any unconfessed sin in my life?"
--The place to meet Him is in the Garden of Prayer.
IV. ASKING GOD - NOW WE ARE PREPARED TO TRULY ASK.
--Like children to parents, often we start by asking.
--Better to be prepared to make our petitons.
--Meeting the above, "Ask, and you will receive."
--Jesus also said, "Call to Me, I will answer" (Jer 33).
If we can't pray the best, pray the best we can.
--God hears those of little children as well as any.
--Tell Him your joys. Thoughts. Desires. Hurts.
--Tell Him your needs, "to supply all your need."
--Tell. Him of your family. Your job. And finances.
--You won't be embarrassed; God knows it already.
--But He wants you and me to come, and ask Him.
"Prayer of the righteous .. avails much" (James 5:16).
--God hears our faintest cry. Sees a falling tear.
--The saved can go to Him as Father, not a stranger.
--The privilege is ours! What a gift! So ask Him!
V. THANKING GOD - THANKING IS AS IMPORTANT AS ASKING.
--As a child, given something, what should we say?
--"Thank you," of course. Children are taught that.
--To be thankful to others. Should we also, to God?
You may think, God failed me! Didn't answer prayer.
--May even be unhappy, or angry, with Almighty God.
--Friend, God hears our prayers and lovingly answers.
--Have we met His criteria? Did we ask for His will?
--When I asked my Dad for something, he would answer.
--His reply would be, "Yes. No. Or not now."
--We know adults know better than kids. So does God.
--So let's thank the Lord for His wise, holy answers.
Billy Graham's wife, Ruth, said, "If God. answered me, always as I prayed, I'd have married the wrong person several times." So true. God's ways are best ways.
--So there is one more vital part of our praying.
VI. TRUSTING GOD - DO OUR BEST, GOD WILL DO HIS.
--When we have done our part, trust God to do His.
--For decades I have been trusting Him. Why not?
--He has never failed to be with me. Give His best.
One prayer God answers at once, "Lord, save me."
--On the sea Peter prayed it, Jesus saved him and me.
--In a war, I called on Him to save my soul. He did.
--If not sure, ask the Lord to save you. Today.
--We can do nothing better! Can even pray better!
--After we pray this, we can do everything better!
--Only trust Him now.
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 793