Summary: Jesus teaches us that our prayers need to be daring.
It has been said the prayer is the greatest secret weapon of the church today. Great, because God promises to answer prayer. Secret, because most Christians do not know how prayer works.
Our Lord’s disciples had asked Jesus to teach them to pray (v. 1). As part of His answer, Jesus shared a parable with them. A parable designed to illustrate what kind of praying we must do.
From this parable, there are three great truths for us to learn if we are to pray as we ought. Today, we will focus our attention on the first one. What kind of praying must I do?
Our prayers must be daring!
1. Daring in size - v. 5
We notice that the man in the parable asked his friend for three loaves, as opposed to one loaf. In the same way, we need to pray to God about big things as well as little things. Hebrews 4:16 tells us this plainly:
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace.” (NKJV)
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence.” (NIV)
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.” (NLT)
“So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God.” (CEV)
“So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give.” (The Message)
“God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” - Ephesians 3:20 (The Message)
Part of the reason why we do not see God do big things is that we are only willing to ask for small things.
A couple who were in college found themselves at the end of the month with their cupboard bare, with it being another 2 weeks before they received their next paycheck. They decided to make a grocery list and ask God to provide for their needs. On their list, they wrote "steak." After a day or so of praying over the list, they decided that asking for steak was too presumptuous. "Let's change it to hamburger," they said.
The next evening, when they came home, they were delighted to discover boxes of food on their front porch. They had fun emptying the boxes and checking off the items on their prayer list. God had provided everything they had asked for!
The following Sunday, a man from their church came up to ask if they had found the boxes of food he had left for them. They assured him that they had and thanked him profusely. He then told them about how things came about.
"The Lord just laid you guys on my heart and told me to buy you some groceries," he said. "God directed me down each aisle and told me how much of each item to put in the basket." "But the funny thing is," he told them, "when I went by the meat counter, I first picked up some packages of steak, but the Lord told me to put them back and replace them with hamburger, instead."
The point is that, like that couple, we often are content to ask for hamburger when God wants to give us steak!
“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that My Father will grant you whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM]. Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as
presenting all that I AM]; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.” - John 16:23-24 (Amplified)
Praying in Jesus’ name involves operating in and asking according to His authority. If we are praying in this way, it will be reflected in the size of our requests! When’s the last time your prayer request reflected the majesty and power of our God?
2. Daring in stubbornness - vs. 7-8
It is midnight and this man is in bed. His kids are in bed with him, suggesting that he had labored hard to get them to fall asleep. He did not want to get up. Yet because of his friend’s persistence, he arose and gave him what he needed.
Sometimes God requires persistence in prayer on our part before he will give us His answer. Why?
A. To deal with us.
Prayer doesn’t change God, it changes us!
Sometimes our hearts need to be prepared before God’s answer can be received. There is no unwillingness on God’s part, just unreadiness on our part.
B. To keep us from taking God for granted.
If we could flippantly mention our requests to God and have them answered, we would soon begin to look upon Him as a great big genie in the sky, rather than who He is: the sovereign Lord and Master of the universe!