Summary: To understand the principles of prayer as outlined by Jesus is to inspire in me perseverance in my personal prayer life and ministry.
No matter what activity you pursue, perseverance is a key factor in success. For the most part, people quit too soon.
• It took Edison over ten thousand experiments to perfect the light bulb. What if he would have quit at 9,999?
• Albert Einstein suffered through disappointment after disappointment, including World War I, to prove his theory of relativity.
• And the list goes on.
A miner worked for years at his gold mine and found no gold whatsoever. In frustration, he sold it just to get it off his hands.
The new owners resumed work at the mine and within a month struck the richest gold mine ever found.
What if the old miner would not have quit but persevered? How many people have lost because they quit too soon?
No matter what you do, perseverance is the key. Jesus, in the passage before us today, is emphasizing this in our prayer life. How many people have given up on their prayer too soon?
Everybody prays but I wonder how many people really know how to pray effectively. One of the most important spiritual disciplines in the Christian’s life is prayer. Through prayer, we access the throne of God. What could be more important?
A few questions…
Is prayer really worth the effort?
Would your prayer track record inspire anyone to pray?
Can you name the last five prayers that God answered for you?
What I would like to do is lift us out of the doldrums of religiosity into a very intimate, dynamic relationship with Christ where our prayers are answered.
If you cannot reach God when you need him, what kind of Christian life are you living? My prayer life reveals my confidence in God and that confidence is based upon my relationship with God.
There is a right way to pray and there is a wrong way.
To understand the principles of prayer as outlined by Jesus is to inspire in me perseverance in my personal prayer life and ministry.
The basis of this teaching is on a question the disciples asked Jesus. “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples” (11:1).
Jesus responded by giving them what we call “The Lord’s Prayer.” Technically, it is really The Disciple’s Prayer. In the gospel of Matthew, we have a fuller version of this prayer. (Matthew 6:9-13).
Jesus then sets forth this parable revealing the principles of praying in the kingdom of God. Every religion has a form of prayer. Jesus sets forth the principles of praying for those who are living in the kingdom of God. Simply put, those who are Christians living under the authority of Jesus Christ. Here is how Jesus wants us to pray.
Keep in mind; this is what Jesus has to say about prayer and how we can be persevering in our prayer.
Jesus gives three basic principles associated with persevering prayer. The acronym of ASK.
Let’s break these down and look at them.
“Ask, and it will be given to you;” (9).
“For everyone who asks receives” (10).
This is the fundamental aspect of praying. Unfortunately, some people do not get much further than this. Even here, they are not asking rightly.
We need to verbalize our request clearly, so that we can understand what we are praying for. Most people really do not know what to pray for nor how to effectively pray.
Paris Reidhead, a woman came up to him and asked him if he would pray that her daughter gets married. He looked at her and responded very soberly, “No, I won’t.”
She looked at him as though he had slapped her in the face. “What do you mean you won’t pray for my daughter to get married?”
“First, does she really want to get married? Then after that, I need to know more information. Does she want to get married or do you want her to get married?”
That mother never really got what he was getting at. Most people do not.
Let us look at some scriptures along this line. There are five basic aspects involved in asking.
No selfless requests.
James 4:2-3 “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight in war, yet you have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lust.”
A boxer won a championship and the reporter was interviewing him on how he was able to win such a boxing match. He replied, “God helped me to win.”
Wait a minute. Isn’t there only supposed to be two men in the ring? If God was in the ring helping this man he needs to disqualify himself. Or at the least, give God half of the prize money.