Jul8WedJuly 8, 2020
Good morning Church, Praise the Lord!
Ever hear someone pray and think, "I wish I could pray like that". That happens to me when I hear Africans and Latin people pray. I think it happened to the disciples when they heard Jesus pray (Luke 11:1) The disciples are so impressed, they want to pray the same way as Jesus. Jesus tells them what to say, "say" (11:2). The Lord is instructing His disciples how to pray, the way He does. We should take notice! It starts with acknowledging God, the Father - that implies you are His child. Then it focuses us on His Kingdom, not our own. Once we give God His proper place and seek His will within family relationship, then we can ask our Father for the things we need: spiritual food, forgiveness and guidance (3-4).
Then Jesus teaches on persistence (5-8). Two things stand out for me in this passage: 1. Jesus illustrates the Father as a "friend"; 2. the reason the friend gets up to give his friend what he needs is because of his "shameless audacity" (NIV). Is there something about praying in the solitude of the midnight hour? God is good and available at any hour!
Jesus continues to teach on persistence with 3 different levels of prayer: ask, seek, knock. The imagery implies different levels of involvement and intensity. I get the image of a child asking for a candy in the display rack while mom is waiting in the checkout line. You can see the whole thing unfold from a simple request, to seeking to convince her mom she needs it, to a loud knocking things around till the mother finally complies. What happened to the little child in us that perseveres till we get what we need/want?
Finally, Jesus teaches that our Father is a better father than any earthly father, and will give us what we need, and not deceive us, trick us, nor harm us. Verse 13 has always intrigued me - why does Jesus mention the Holy Spirit? Holy Spirit is the greatest gift (Acts 2:38), and God wants to give Him to us. All we have to do is ask. But what does this have to do with prayer? Is Jesus giving the answer to the original inquiry: how do we pray like you, Jesus? Here, I believe is the answer: "you need Holy Spirit to pray the way I do.... ask the Father for Him". To pray from the Father's viewpoint, where the kingdom is a priority, and to receive heavenly things like forgiveness, spiritual food, and deliverance from temptation, we need Holy Spirit. Maybe the first thing we need to ask for before we begin any prayer is for a fresh filling of Holy Spirit - then we will pray with the right heart and motive. Look up these verses (Romans 8:26-27; Ephesians 6:18; Jude 1:20).
Have a blessed week!