Initially, the disciples learned the importance of prayer by observing the amount of time Jesus devoted to it. In Luke 11, Jesus gave his disciples a pattern for what it means to live in communion with God. His goal was not to merely give the disciples words to memorize, but rather to show them a framework for how to live life with God. The prayer Jesus taught gives us a clear vision of who God is and what he is like. It teaches us a new way to look at life.
In Luke 11, Jesus said:"When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation."
Pray like This
Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.' Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs."
What God is Like
We could summarize Jesus' words like this: The creator of heaven and earth is not an impersonal force. He is an intimate, loving father (the word father literally means daddy). He is very close to us, yet very different. Because there is no one like God, only his name is holy and worthy of honor.
Our Father is also a King with a kingdom. The reign of God will break through into your world if you invite him to come. To experience his kingdom right here, right now, is what life with God is all about.
We need God to sustain us each day. He opens his hand and meets every human need. Finally, the Lord imparts strength to fight the enemy of our souls. When facing any temptation God is faithful. He always provides a way out.
Persistence is the Key
To further enlarge our vision of God’s goodness, Jesus asks us to imagine a scene in which a person must provide for an unexpected visitor at the last minute. Because the man doesn’t have enough food, he wakes up a friend in the middle of the night to ask for bread. The friend's initial response is "don't bother me," but because of the man’s insistence he eventually gives him as much as he needs.
photo courtesy of Steve Evans
The meaning of this story is personal and powerful. When you pray, never assume that God is being bothered by your requests. Don't ever think that you are imposing. Our prayers never wake God up. Whatever the need, call on the name of the Lord. Boldly approach the throne of grace.
That is the privilege of being child of God. When we ask, God will answer. When we seek, God will bless. When we knock, God will open the door. Heaven is open. The privilege of prayer is that we can engage immediately and directly with the one who sees and cares about our situation.
Author:Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
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