Thesis: Realizing God's faithfulness makes prayer less difficult.
1. One of the most difficult things for a Christian is often represented as one of the easiest--prayer.
a. Prayer is difficult.
b. Not the "pat," "stock," rote, routine prayers we all get used to saying, but real, deep, meaningful, heart-felt prayer.
c. Shouldn't be surprised to know that Jesus taught us alot about prayer.
2. Today we want to explore Jesus' teaching on prayer (Luke 11:1-13).
a. Same material found in SOM (Matt. 6:9-13; 7:7-11).
b. Only difference is "The Friend at Midnight" (11:5-8).
c. It is the key to understanding Jesus' teaching on prayer.
I. LOOKING AT THE TEXT.
A. Jesus' example of prayer (11:1-4).
1. Request of Jesus' disciples (1).
a. Witnessed him pray (Lk. 3:21; 6:12-13; 9:18; 9:28; 10:21-23a).
b. Something different about the way Jesus prayed; asking for more than just the "mechanics".
2. "The Lord's Prayer" (2-4).
a. The focus of the prayer is solely on God:
1) Name of God...................... Reverence
2) Rule of God....................... Kingdom & will
3) Care of God....................... Daily bread
4) Mercy of God..................... Forgiveness
5) Providence of God............... No temptation
b. Particularly striking is the phrase "Our Father."
1) Calling God "Father" not unknown in OT (rare).
2) It is THE way Jesus chose to address God!
3) Significance of "Abba" (cf. Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6).
B. Jesus' parable on prayer (11:5-8).
C. Jesus' encouragement to pray (11:9-13).
1. Ask ... Seek ... Knock.
a. Does this appear to be a hard, difficult thing?
b. PROMISE: Everyone who does this will not be disappointed.
2. Father-Son metaphor illustrating prayer.
a. "Which of you" (cf. Lk. 12:25; 14:28; 15:4; 17:7).
b. Nature of Fathers is to respond appropriately to children.
II. LOOKING MORE CLOSELY AT THE PARABLE.
A. Begins with "Which of you."
1. Story of desperate need.
2. Everyone would expect the sleeper to provide for his friend.
3. Illust. Evertt Huffard, who for many years was a missionary in Nazareth, Israel, says this is a custom which has remained unchanged in many places in the Middle East for over 2,000 years. In a village different families take turns baking bread for the whole village. Give to those according to their need.
B. Strange conversation and explanation (verses 7-8).
1. Meaning of parable hinges on anadeia (8).
a. "Importunity" (KJV, RSV).
b. "Persistence" (NKJV, NIV).
2. Only time this word appears in the entire NT!
a. Greek: Shamelessness, (prostitute, beggar, tight-wad).
b. POINT: The man inside doesn't want people to think he's a jerk--this is what motivates him to get up!
3. < Two illustrations >:
a. Illust. Suppose you came to my house to eat. Kathy was careful to measure out your food on your plate. You asked for a second cup of coffee and I say, "That's all we have made" and did not offer to make another. What are you going to go away from the Chestnuts saying?
b. Illust. Suppose you are my neighbor and your house burned down. Come to me and ask for a shovel to sift through for some of your belongings. "No, don't bother me! I'm watching Tom Brokaw and the NBC Nightly News. Go bother someone else!"
C. Jesus' Point: God isn't like that!
1. God does not have to cajoled, coaxed, or sweet-talked to respond to our prayers!
2. With God we don't have to keep banging on the door! We don't have to keep hollering through the keyhole! He is responsive!
1. What has Jesus taught us about prayer? (orig. question!)
a. NOTHING about the mechanics of prayer.
b. But a whole lot about the One we pray to!
c. Illust. Have you ever got on an elevator and felt the awkwardness of being very close to total strangers? How easy is it to talk to folks in that situation? Have you ever got on an elevator and suddenly discovered there was someone on it that you already knew? How easy was it to talk with them? Jesus says: "Think of prayer as striking up a conversation with a familiar person."
2. Approach God in prayer as you would a friend or your father. Expect him to respond appropriately! The promise is that he will!
( From a sermon by Evertt Huffard of Memphis, TN )