Prayer: What it says about you (Luke 11:1-13)
Chapter 6 Week 5
One of the central foci of Jesus’ ministry was prayer. We see Him praying alone all the time. We hear of Him going off in the early hours of the morning. Prayer to Jesus was central to the Christian life.
As the disciples saw this, they were quite aware of the woeful state of their own prayer lives. While John the Baptist had instructed them in prayer, they did not want to be like the Pharisees, about whom Jesus plainly warned them. They did not want to be like the heathen either, who chanted repetitive prayers as if God would listen to their many words.
The disciples knew that Jesus’ prayer was authentic and they wanted that type of experience. They wanted to know how not to offend God and at the same time have a way to be effective and intimate with Him. Dr. Bruce tells us here that the “lesson on prayer was itself an answer to prayer” (Bruce p 52). Here in Luke 11, Jesus shows them.
The model of prayer that Jesus used was for the young and inexperienced disciples. As they matured, they were able to speak to God in a way that reflected that maturity, and would be Kingdom focused and not self-seeking. How many of the prayers that we hear on a regular basis are self-centered? We want God to save us from a particular situation. We ask God “do not let so and so be sick or die.” Instead of trusting God to His Good purposes and will, we attempt to tell God what He should do, and we think that He should grant it “just to be nice” or to show us He loves us. Is that what Jesus prayed?
NO! The Lord’s Prayer gives very little attention to man’s needs and desires; contrarily, it focuses on the Great Plan of God and the bigger picture of spiritual things. Let us take a look!
Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive others who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever and ever Amen.
Nowhere in this verse does it say that God will deliver us from our circumstances….it only says, deliver us from Evil. I guess if we consider all situations evil, we can stretch that. In reality, I think that God uses even the situations in our lives to grow us, and this is probably why most of us don’t get “saved” from them.
Look what He does say. He says that we should recognize God’s holiness, and that while we wait for His coming that we should be seeking the Kingdom on Earth like it is in heaven, bringing all things under His feet. It also says, that we are asking Him to forgive us JUST LIKE we forgive others….uh oh….who is the person you like the least….yup that person. That is how you want God to treat you?…hmmmm.
There is a way that Jesus wants disciples to pray that looks a lot different from the way most prayer goes. He spends more time on building faith in God than on giving believers what they want. Tomorrow we will look at some questions that will get to the heart of how prayer reflects our true spiritual relationship with God…
Read Luke 11:1-13, we will take it from there tomorrow.
See ya next time…