Summary: The first of a three sermon series on prayer.
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. (READ TEXT)
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?
It must be bold praying!
1. Our prayers need to be bold 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.
Part of the reason why we do not see God do big things is that we are only willing to ask for small things.
I once heard about a Christian couple who came to the end of the month with more month left than money. They were in need of groceries, so they decided to go to the Lord about their need. In doing so, they compiled a grocery list that they used as their prayer list for God’s provision. Having made the list, they looked it over and decided that instead of asking for steak, they would ask for hamburger.
The next evening, when they came home, they found boxes of groceries on their front porch. That night, they attend midweek services at their church. A man in their church who owned a grocery store approached and asked if they had found the groceries. They answered, “Yes.”
He then told them how god had spoken to him specifically the night before about providing some groceries for the young couple. He said that he had walked down the aisles of his store and how God had instructed him item by item. “It was funny,” he said, “at first, I had put a package of steak in the basket, but if felt as though the Lord told me later to return the steak and get hamburger instead!”
Too many of us are content to ask for hamburger when God wants to give us steak!
2. Our prayers must be bold in stubbornness - vs. 7-8
It is midnight and this man is in bed. His kids are in bed with him, sug¬gesting 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 un-readiness on our part.
So it is that we must be bold in stubbornness when it comes to prayer, willing to let God have his way with us so that we might be able to re¬ceive his answer!
B. To keep us from taking God for granted.
If we could flippantly mention our requests to God and have them an¬swered, we would soon begin to look upon him as a big genie in the sky, rather than who he is: the sovereign Lord and Master of the universe!
It is only when we recognize who God is, that we can begin to see what God can do!
"[Yes] I mil grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in My Name fas presenting all that I AM]," - John 14:14 (Amplified)
God’s primary goal for each of us is that we might be changed into the likeness of His dear Son as we come to know Him more intimately. One of the disciplines He uses to bring this about is prayer.
Therefore, in our praying, we must be willing to be bold in stubbornness, we must be persistent, and allow God to do the work in us He wants to do. As someone has put it, "You can’t expect a million dollar answer from a ten cent prayer."
Bill Hybels gives us a simplified explanation as to why God some¬times requires persistence and stubbornness in prayer.
Sometimes, He wants to reveal that our walk is wrong. When our walk is wrong, God tells us, "Grow."
Sometimes, he wants to reveal that our request is wrong. When our request is wrong, God says, "No."
Sometimes, he wants to reveal that our timing is wrong. When our timing is wrong, God says, "Slow."