Summary: God delights in our coming to Him in prayer. In heaven, we might see all that could have been ours if we would just "ask - seek - knock".
“Jesus Teaches About Prayer”
INTRODUCTION: We CONTINUE in our series on “Lessons Jesus Taught”.
Prayer was important to Jesus. He had just given His Disciples instructions on prayer – 11:1-4
If prayer was important to Jesus … how MUCH MORE IMPORTANT ought prayer be to us!
Here, we see a man interceding for a “friend”. A “friend” goes to another “friend’s” house asking for food for a “friend” … he’s hungry. There were no convenient stores in Bible times … you asked friends for food when you were out of food.
The asking “friend” is an INTERCESSOR … a middle-man … for his visiting “friend”. It was the responsibility of the host to feed a guest in his house. It was a SHAME to not be able to provide for a guest.
That’s what God wants US to be … INTERCESSORS. The LOST don’t have access to our “Friend”, the Lord Jesus Christ. They don’t have access to His Throne. God won’t hear their prayers, other than their prayer of REPENTANCE.
I wish I could save everybody … BUT … I can’t. HOWEVER … I know Someone who can! AND … I can go to Him on their behalf. That’s what “friends” do! God has the resources to meet their spiritual needs … I don’t. THEREFORE … it’s MY RESPONSIBILITY to go to God on their behalf.
WHAT SHOULD I PRAY FOR?
o That they might see their NEED of a Savior.
o That they might see their HOPE as being only in Christ alone.
o That they might realize they are bound for an ETERNITY in the Lake of Fire.
I see their NEED … I know their only HOPE … I realize their FATE. SO … I am to PRAY.
“which of you …” ANSWER: ALL of us would do the same thing this man did … INTERCEDE on behalf of someone in need. See 11:11-12
MODERN PARABLE: Company comes all at once … unexpected. You’re unprepared … they’re hungry … stores closed. You go to a friend to borrow some eggs, bacon, bread. FRIEND: “Forget it … go home & leave me alone!”
11:7 – Everybody slept in one bed … even the goats & chickens slept in the house at night. It must have caused quite a commotion when there was a knock on the door at “midnight”.
IN SPITE OF the initial denial, he finally relented and gave him some bread. BUT NOTE: He didn’t give it to him on the basis of his “friendship” … BUT … on the basis of his PERSISTENCE … his “pestering” him.
11:8 – “importunity” = ‘shameless persistence & perseverance’. NOTE: This is a parable of CONTRAST. Jesus used this technique several times … see 11:13.
There are several things we need to see in this PARABLE OF CONTRAST:
1.- OUR ATTITUDE IN COMING
When we go to God in prayer, we don’t go to Him as His NEIGHBOR … or even His FRIEND … BUT … as His CHILD. You don’t have to knock down His door! WHY? Because He WANTS to meet all your needs. While I might be “bothered” if you came to my door at midnight … if my SON came to my door, it wouldn’t be a “bother”.
God gives us a PROMISE: Philip. 4:19 – “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” THEREFORE … we don’t need to be as ARROGANT as this man was to his neighbor … knocking down his door.
2.- GOD’S ATTITUDE IN ANSWERING
Our Heavenly Father, is MORE THAN DELIGHTED to meet all our needs. See 11:13. He WANTS you to come and ask of Him. He BEGS you to come and ask of Him. This is in CONTRAST to the neighbor.
3.- OUR ATTITUDE IN ASKING
What was the sole purpose in the friend coming to his neighbor at midnight? To get bread.
What should be our sole purpose in coming to God? To get what we ask for? Careful now! The important thing to remember in coming to GOD is … NOT so OUR WILL will prevail … but HIS WILL. See 11:2b – “Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.”
SOMETIMES, we ask God for ICE CREAM when we’re hungry … and God knows we need CORNBREAD & MILK. SOMETIMES, we ask God for CORNBREAD & MILK … and God wants to give us ICE CREAM!
God knows more about what we NEED than we do. We need to ALWAYS ask in His will.
3 STEPS IN INTERCESSORY PRAYER: (11:9-10)
1.- BE VOCAL – “ask”
If you don’t ask, you won’t receive. That’s not to say that God hasn’t given you MORE than you’ve ever asked for. MOST of what you have, you’ve never asked God for. In His abundant GRACE, He has showered His gifts upon you … without you ever ASKING.