Bible Reading: Luke 11:1-28
Prayer. It is an absolutely indispensible part of our life as a follower of Jesus. But, how confident do you feel when you pray…that God will answer? How much time do you invest in your time in prayer? Do you know how to pray…or, what to pray about? Jesus gives us some divine insight into prayer in this passage.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Have you ever been watching a Sports Talk Show and heard the host say…
- “You can’t teach that!”
- “Either you’ve got it…or you don’t!”
- “That just comes natural.”
Usually, they just shown an athlete do something incredible.
- Maybe it was a diving football catch by a receiver or some crazy twisting move by a running back that left the defensive player standing flat-footed.
- It could have been a slam-dunk by a basketball player who left the ground somewhere around the free throw line.
- Or, it might have been a tennis player who showed amazing agility by stopping on a dime, turning around, running at full-speed across the court, stretching out as far forward as possible, and then precisely making a delicate drop shot just on the other side of the net.
“You don’t learn how to do that…you’re born with it!”
Honestly, there are some things, that because of the physical requirements of speed, or strength, or agility…you and I may never be able to do. For instance, I can slam-dunk a basketball…but there has to be a trampoline under the goal. Other wise…I just was not born with the height, or the ability to jump that high. And no matter how hard I try to learn to do it…it’s just not going to happen.
But there are some things that I can learn to do better. There are coaches who specialize in teaching athletes how to run faster, how to jump higher, how to keep your eye on the baseball, how to drive a golf ball further and straighter, how to use muscle strength and motion to my advantage, and just about everything else that athletes have to do. And then sometimes, given the opportunity, I can learn a lot just by watching a great athlete perform. I watch how she swings her racket, or how he comes out of the starting blocks, or how he kicks the ball, or how she uses her motion to get her over the bar. Just watching a great athlete can be hugely beneficial. Just listening to them tell how they do it…can help me to do the same thing, better.
The disciples of Jesus watched Him preach…they watched Him love people…they watched Him heal sickness…and they watched Him forgive sin. They were in awe of Him. He was truly amazing. But, they watched something else, too. They watched Him pray. And they noticed something…very often, it was just after Jesus had spent time in prayer…that He seemed to be at His best. It was then that God used Him in the amazing ways. Maybe there was something to how He prayed. Maybe there was a connection between how Jesus prayed…and how God used Him. So, they came to Him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray…”.
Jesus taught them two things about prayer. One, He taught them “what” to pray.
- They were to pray to God in a personal manner…like they were talking with their Father…someone who loved and cared for them. And yet, they were never to forget that He is holy God…and they should pray for His kingdom, His will to be done in their prayers.
- They were to pray honestly about the things that were going on in their life.
- They were to confess their sins and ask for forgiveness. And, they were to forgive those who had sinned against them.
- Finally, they were to pray that God would keep them giving in to the temptations that they would face.
Second, Jesus taught them “how” to pray…with persistence. Don’t quit until you have received an answer. He told a story about a man who had an unexpected visitor show up late one night. He didn’t enough food to feed him. So, he went next door to his neighbor’s house. He knocked on the door until the neighbor woke up and then told him that he needed to borrow some food. The neighbor told him that it was too late, go back to bed and come back in the morning. But the man refused to stop knocking. He needed some food, now. Finally, the neighbor came down and gave him some food. Here is the point: If a neighbor, who is human, and tired, and doesn’t want to get up in the middle of the night is willing to do so because the man would not stop knocking until he received what he needed…how much more willing will God, Who loves us like a Father and Who wants to meet our daily needs respond when we come to Him with our requests? Don’t stop praying…until you receive an answer.
Without a doubt…Jesus was the greatest prayer Who ever lived. No one else prayed like Jesus prayed. And His disciples recognized that. Thankfully, prayer is not something that you have to be born with…it is something that we can learn. And we learn it from the Master, Jesus.
In order for an athlete to become better…it isn’t enough for him to just sit in a classroom and watch videos or listen to an instructor. He has to get out and practice. He has to use…what he has learned. It’s the same way with prayer. It’s not enough to just know what Jesus taught the disciples. You have to do it…for yourself. So, start praying. Do what Jesus said. Pray the way that He taught you…and you will be amazed at what God will do in you…and through you.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,