Summary: In a world where much is taken in the removal of innocence we can make a difference in prayer. Follow Jesus pattern, prayer and involvement.
Luke 11: 1-13, Pray don’t prey!
Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. The prayer he teaches them is the Prayer that we now know as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. He then sums the whole thing about praying up with a bit of a story.
Jesus said something like this. “Suppose you went to a mates place at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You tell him what the go is, ‘Another mate of mine has arrived around home for a visit, and I‘ve got nothing to feed him.’ He would shout down from his room to you, ‘You what, it’s midnight! What do you think you’re up to, we’re all in bed, the kids are asleep, push off!’ But I tell you if you keep pushing him, he’ll get up and give you what you want, because he’s your mate and he knows that that’s what mates do.
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and the bloke who knocks, well the door will be opened for him.
Which of you parents, if one of your kids asks for a fish will give them a snake instead? Or if that kid asks for an egg, would you give them a scorpion? If you then, through you are sinful, know how to give good stuff to your kids, how much more will your Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?!” (Andrew Moffatt paraphrase)
So this instruction of Jesus is about the Lord’s Prayer which is really a prayer for believers, a prayer that honours God and a prayer for the coming of God’s kingdom to Earth. Jesus lists in Luke’s version of the prayer a format of how we should pray.
Well he gives them a format for prayer, a way in which to approach God with our requests and it goes like this.
• Honour the name of God
• Ask for the coming of God’s kingdom
• Request daily provision
• Ask forgiveness
• Ask for God’s protection
In doing this, Jesus has introduced a method of prayer.
This week, is the International Day of Prayer for Children.
I look at the wee tackers that we have here on a Sunday and what a blessing these children are to their families, and to the community here. I have noticed in the past year that these children are contributing well to their families, their schools, to this community and the wider community. I look at my own son’s and see that they are both now grown and learning trades and that the prayers that I have and am praying for them are being answered.
But I have concerns, concerns for children whose parents, parents who in many cases who dearly want to provide for their children cannot. I have a concern that the people who are able often turn a blind eye to the need that is around them.
Did you know that there are 85 people in the world who hold as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population 3.5 billion people? The truth is that some of the extremely wealthy redistribute their wealth but many don’t. Why would that be when this could help to alleviate so much of the world’s poverty? If you have tens of billions, or millions spare you can make a serious difference for many individual’s.
While I was doing some research for this sermon I came across some pretty horrifying stuff about child slavery, being that it is The International Day of Prayer for Children, I thought that I would mention some of it, so that these circumstances involving the very vulnerable we can remember in our prayers or get involved in, in other ways. I came across a web site that listed ten horrifying examples of modern day child slavery.
There are children in slavery engaged in or being used for; Child Soldiers In Armed Conflicts, Forced Labour in Mines, Harvesting Child Organs (there are up to 70000 kidneys on the black market per annum), Camel Jockeys In The Persian Gulf, [children trafficked to work in] Cannabis Farms In Scotland, Shrine Slavery In West Africa, Forced Beggars Of Senegal, Dancing Boys Of Afghanistan. (http://listverse.com/2014/01/07/10-horrifying-examples-of-modern-day-child-slavery/)
Well that was the first eight but I’ve picked out a couple of other points that I think can do with our knowing about and our prayers for.
One of the most pervasive forms of modern child slavery is domestic servitude. A shocking 10.5 million children—71 percent of whom are girls and many of whom are as young as five years old—are estimated to be domestic workers around the world, and many of these children are held in slavery. It happens everywhere, including the United States. There are an estimated 50,000 slaves in the United States and an additional 17,500 are being trafficked into the country every year [and the land of the free?]. The stories almost always include a vulnerable, trafficked child who was lured into a family, where they became isolated and beaten into submission. The children have often been taken from foreign countries and have little to no knowledge of the native language. [Remember that these children are not just doing their chores they are working to survive]