Chapter 11 of Luke starts with a condensed version of what we are familiar with as “the Lord’s Prayer”. This prayer came in response to the disciples asking Jesus to teach them how to pray. As I am reading through this I am made aware that with all the teaching Jesus did in exposing the hypocrisy of the Pharisees that the disciples had a pretty good idea of what not to do. Namely that to do anything for the Lord simply to fulfill a form or an appearance was of no real value and very distasteful for the Lord. I am certain that they had numerous examples around them in the religious community of how prayer was being modeled and yet they knew that they were not to follow that pattern. So they ask Jesus “Lord, teach us to pray”.
Jesus begins his answer with a prayer model to follow which is more detailed in Matthew chapter 13:9-13 which gives an outline as a pattern for prayer in 5 points:
- Honor: Acknowledge Gods Holiness and sovereignty
2. Kingdom authority: Seek the release of His will and expansion of His kingdom on Earth
3. Provision: Provide for our physical and Spiritual needs
4. Forgiveness: Forgive us just as we forgive
5. Protection: From the evil one and his ways
5 Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, 6 ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ 7 And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ 8 But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.
This illustration is powerful and I think we miss often whet the lord is saying here. We focus on the friend who will not help out in a time of need and on the fact that the man in need had to pester his friend to no end to get help. What I think we miss is that the Lord actually commends the mans “Shameless Persistence”.
Most churches would teach that the actions of the man making the request were “Un-Christ like” and yet he commends that action in regards to prayer to the Father for our petitions. We should keep at it until we receive our petition. In fact the verse that follows reinforce that concept.
9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
This instruction is repeated in Matthew 7:7-8
Two key words are repeated here, Keep and Everyone. Let’s not make this more difficult than it need be. The Lord spoke clearly so everyone could understand. This is not a parable but a clear direction in response to a question. Do you honestly believe that if you ask God to teach you how to pray that He would give you the run around?
Keep asking, Keep Seeking Keep knocking.
• Everyone who asks receives
• Everyone who seeks finds
• Everyone who knocks sees the door open
Why do we give up so easily on our prayers? We tend to think that the lack of an immediate answer means no and we have been so well taught on how to be content with no.
We need to remember what the Paul said in Philippians 2: 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
As I draw near to Him and become intimate with the Holy Ghost my desires are changed. They die and His are birthed in me and if He gives me the desire than I know that He also will give me the power to fulfill that desire He birthed.
This concept of persistence in prayer is repeated in Luke 18:1-8 the story of the unjust judge and the widow woman. Verse 7 says “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?”