Summary: How dare we call the holy God, Father! But that’s what Jesus teaches us to do. Let’s see why we can pray as a child calling out to our dear Father.
Text: Luke 11:1-13
Theme: Pray as a Child, Calling Out to Your Dear Father
A. Pray without embarrassment
B. Pray expecting the best
Season: Pentecost 10c
Date: August 1, 2010
Web page: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Pray-as-a-Child,-Calling-Out-to-Your-Dear-Father-Luke11_1-13.html
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. The Word from God through which Jesus teaches us to pray is Luke 11.
"And it happened when Jesus was in a place praying, after he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."
"He said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Keep giving us our daily bread day by day. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive all who owe us. And lead us not into temptation."
"In addition he said to them, "Who of you would have a friend and go to him in the middle of the night and say to him, ’Friend, lend me three pieces of bread, since my friend has come to me on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’? And the one inside replies, ’Stop troubling me. The door is already locked, and my children are in bed like me. I can’t get up and give it to you.’ I say to you, even though he will not get up and give it to him because he is his friend, rather because of his boldness, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
""Now I myself say to you, "Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives. Whoever seeks finds. And to the one who knocks, it will be opened.
""Now what father among you, if your son asks for a fish, would give him a snake instead of a fish? Or also, if he asks for an egg, would give him a scorpion? Therefore if you, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father from heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"" (Luke 11:1-13)
Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:
Praying. In some ways it’s one of the easiest things for a Christian to do. Even a little child prays. It’s as natural for a child of God to speak to our heavenly Father as for an earthly child to run to Daddy.
Praying. I struggle with it. It’s one of the hardest parts of my Christian life. Why pray? God already knows what he’s going to do. Shouldn’t I be busy doing stuff? Why pray? God wouldn’t listen to someone like me, would he? Why pray? See how my rationalizing and doubting make it such a struggle.
And I don’t think that I’m alone in this struggle to pray. Even a great church leader like Martin Luther has said this about prayer, "At times I, who teach this and prescribe it to others, have learned from my own example that praying comes close to being the most difficult of all works" (Plass,Ewald M. What Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian. p. 1081, par. 3451. Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1959.)
So is it any wonder, dear friends, that a disciple comes to Jesus and asks, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1 NIV)? Jesus answers by first of all giving a short version of what we have come to call the Lord’s Prayer.
Now as we look at this prayer, what are we to say as we come before the Almighty, the God of heaven and earth, Creator of all, Ruler of the universe, infinite in majesty, unbounded in glory, unapproachable in holiness? We are to call him, "Father." How astounding, considering that we are but dust and ashes, sinful mortals! How astonishing! But with the Lord’s Prayer and the illustrations that follow Jesus teaches us to come before our God in prayer as dear children going to their dear father. So fellow Christian, pray as a child. That’s the theme to take to heart. Pray as a child, calling out to your dear Father.
A. Pray without embarrassment
1. How does Jesus illustrate asking without shame or embarrassment?
But what does that mean? Jesus uses two illustrations in the text to give us some insights. How do you feel about having to go and ask your neighbor for something that you should have had on hand? For example, shortly after we moved here, Mary was making pancakes or something like that. She was short an egg. She felt embarrassed when she called a neighbor to borrow one. And since she was busy preparing dinner, she sent me to go get it. Now I felt embarrassed, too.