Summary: Pentecost 10(C) - Jesus teaches disciples to pray when he encourages the believer to Ask, Seek, Knock.
JESUS TEACHES DISCIPLES TO PRAY
August 13, 2006 - PENTECOST 10 - Luke 11:1-13
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Fellow-Redeemed, Saints in the Lord:
Today the Lord wants to teach us. Last week Jesus invited us to come and sit at his feet. This week, he invites us to come and learn about prayer. Jesus wants us to learn about speaking to God and what it means to have a prayer filled Christian life. First and foremost it is important for us to remember, as believers, we can talk to God. We talk with him through prayer. We talk to him with our words of prayer, with our inmost thoughts and needs for prayer. All this is because by grace we are saved. It is only the believer who can talk to God. As believers we come before God not scared and frightened that he might not want to hear us. As believers and children of God, we come to him just as children who come to their father. We come with joy and thanksgiving, requests and pleadings, troubles and sorrows.
Hebrews tells us: "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). What a powerful thing that we have, the power of prayer. Jesus teaches disciples to pray. We heard towards the end of our text those familiar words, God’s formula for prayer.
JESUS TEACHES DISCIPLES TO PRAY
I. Ask II. Seek III. Knock
The setting as we began our text is real brief but important. Verse 1: "One day Jesus was praying in a certain place." The disciples noticed Jesus was praying in another place, again. We heard that in our Gospel Lesson, too. As he fed the 5,000, Jesus prayed. The disciples saw this and took note of it. Here was Jesus the very Son of God who took time to pray and to speak to his heavenly Father. "One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ’Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’" Probably the disciples noticed how much Jesus prayed. They probably also heard some of the words Jesus prayed. The disciples probably also realized how much they lacked in their prayer life. So they said to Jesus, "Lord, teach us to pray." John taught his disciples.
In verse 9 of our text: "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you." Verse 10: "For everyone who asks receives." Jesus told his disciples to let their needs be known to God. Let God know what they want by starting with asking. Jesus then gives an example of asking in verses 11 and 12: "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? As you read different translations, they have different things that they ask for. The point is if your child asks for something that he needs to eat, you will not give him something that will harm him, a snake or a scorpion. We don’t know what a person wants unless he asks.
Jesus sums it up by saying: "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Jesus reminded the disciples they were evil because of their sinfulness. Still they knew what was good for their children. They knew how to give good gifts. The Father in heaven gives perfect gifts. Our Father in heaven does not change like shifting shadows. Jesus teaches his disciples to pray.
Jesus teaches us to pray by saying to us, "Ask." It sounds simple. Sometimes when we think back in our life, we realize that we got mad at people because they didn’t give us what we wanted. Why? If we stop to think of it, we probably didn’t ask. We sometimes think people know what we want; but if we don’t ask, they don’t know. Remember our sin causes us great problems – in life and even in our prayer life. Listen to James: "You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God" (James 4:2). James says that in our prayer life what stands between God and us is our sinfulness. He says we quarrel and fight. We kill and covet. In our second lesson today (Ephesians 4:1-7,11-16), it talks about the peace and unity in the kingdom of God. Our sins can block out our asking God.