Faithlife Sermons

Luke 11:5-13

Notes
Transcript

Introduction

We will be talking about prayer again this week.
This text makes me feel a little uncomfortable, to be honest.
I think it may do the same for you when we get done.
But before that...
I want us to talk about prayer in general.
Have you ever given serious consideration to why we pray?

Do our prayers inform God of what we need?

No.
We aren’t informing God of anything that He does not already know.
Matthew 6:8 ESV
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
A.W. Pink was an author and pastor who wrote a wonderful book on the Sovereignty of God said...
“Prayer is not designed for the furnishing of God with the knowledge of what we need,
but
it is designed as a confession to Him of our sense of need.”
So, we are to tell God what we need...
and...
although He won’t learn from us...
He will listen to us.

Do our prayers change God’s mind?

No.
((explain))
Jesus second coming
We could pray for universalism, but not going to happen.

Do our prayers change anything?

Yes.
((explain))
In Ex. 32, after the golden calf incident, God said he was going to wipe out the Israelites and start over with Moses...
? idle threat?...
nope.
Why didn’t He do it?
Moses’ prayers.
Wait a minute…
You just said God does not change His mind.
The circumstances changed because Moses prayed.
How do we know that prayer changes things?
Because the Bible tells us.
Look with me at a couple of verses.
James 4:2 ESV
2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.
James 5:16 ESV
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Sometimes I hear the question about prayer phrased this way...

God is going to do what is right anyway. So, why pray?

Because God will accomplish what He wants to accomplish through various means.
One of the ways God accomplishes His will is through our prayers.
Got that?
One of the ways God accomplishes His will is through our prayers.
So, we really need to know how to pray.
==
Last week we learned about the skeleton, or foundation on which we should build our prayers.
This week we will learn with what attitude and determination we should pray.
((PRAY FOR UNDERSTANDING))
Let’s look together at our passage.
Luke 11:5–13 ESV
5 And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. 9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Jesus starts off with a story that illustrates the point.
Hospitality was a big deal to the Jews - both socially and religiously
They were commanded in OT to show hospitality.
(( talk about the story ))
Luke 11:5 ESV
5 And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves,
(( midnight was really closer to the middle of the night ))
(( Friend,… ))
(( this joker is waking me and my whole family up for a midnight snack… ))
Luke 11:6 ESV
6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;
(( not selfishly motivated, but still weird… ))
(( couldn’t the dude wait for breakfast? ))
Apparently the neighbor thought he could because...
Luke 11:7 ESV
7 and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’?
Jesus skips some dialogue that could have been here, but we see that the guy doesn’t go away.
He keeps pestering the neighbor.
We know that because of verse 8
Luke 11:8 ESV
8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.
The neighbor’s friendship did not compel him to help.
Most of us like our neighbors a lot more in the daytime than if they were to knock at midnight.
If anyone knocks on my door at midnight, I will answer with a gun in my pocket.
This neighbor may have been a nice guy, but the guy in the story was pushing the boundaries here.
What does compel him to answer?
… the relentless insistence of the one asking...
“yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.”
I don’t talk a lot about Greek or Hebrew words...
because I don’t want to bore you...
but...
we need to understand this word translated “impudence”.
It means...
a lack of sensitivity to what is proper—‘insolence, audacity, impudence, shamelessness.’ διά γε τὴν ἀναίδειαν αὐτοῦ ἐγερθεὶς δώσει αὐτῷ ὅσων χρῄζει ‘but he will get up and give what he needs because of his insolence (in keeping on asking)’ or ‘… because he lacks a sense of what is proper’ Lk 11:8.
The part of this text that makes me uncomfortable, is that Jesus is telling us to approach prayer with this kind of...
insolence, audacity, impudence, and shamelessness.
I did not say disrespect!
But these words seem to verge on it, don’t they?
Now, I am NOT telling you to pray with disrespect...
but...
I am telling you that Jesus says here that we should pray with an audacity that is foreign to most or all of us.
How do we know Jesus is telling us to be this way?
It is implied - otherwise, why tell the story?
Then in case we don’t understand, He clarifies...
Luke 11:9 ESV
9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
(( And I, I tell you ))
He ties this straight back into the story.
Jesus wants us to know that the attitude we should have in prayer is one of relentless insistence.
Weird, huh?
Luke 11:10 ESV
10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
Some people see verses 9 and 10 as a blank check they can claim.
If they had bothered reading what we studied last week, they would know that is not the case.
Last week we learned that we are to pray for...
God’s name to be treated and revered as holy...
for God’s kingdom to come...
for our daily bread… not a new Cadillac
for forgiveness as we extend forgiveness to others
and
for deliverance from temptation.
Regarding those things we should be confident, persistent, and BOLD in our prayers.
If what you are asking for advances the kingdom and glorifies God, pray like Jesus is telling us to here.
==
In this next section Jesus uses a rhetorical method common to Jewish teachers.
He says...
Luke 11:11–12 ESV
11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
(( story of Don soaking corner of PB&J in Tabasco ))
So, a father won’t give his son a snake if he asks for a fish, or a scorpion if he asks for an egg, but a brother might.
Anyway...
Jesus goes on to say...
Luke 11:13 ESV
13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Another place where Jesus teaches this, He says what you would expect Him to say.
Look with me...
Matthew 7:7–11 ESV
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
So, in the Mt. passage Jesus says
If you who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
but...
on the occasion in Lk. the parallel doesn’t immediately make as much sense.
Luke 11:13 ESV
13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Jesus kind of messes up the parallelism there - until you think about it.
What do you ask for when you pray?
Do you ask for help? - He gives you the Helper.
Do you ask for wisdom? - He gives you the Spirit of Wisdom.
Do you ask for guidance? - He gives you the Guide.
Do you ask for help in relationships? - He gives you the Spirit of Peace.
Do you pray to be closer to God? - He puts His Spirit within you.
==
Do you see that He not only gives us good things, but also gives us the source of those things?
Now, I am not saying that if you want to hear from God and are too stubborn to read the Word...
that the Spirit will help you with that.
but...
I do trust that the Spirit will give you the sense to hunger and thirst for the Word if diligently and persistently ask Him.
==
To give you a little added boldness, let’s look at some prayers in the OT.
Psalm 55:1–2 ESV
1 Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy! 2 Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
and
Psalm 102:1–2 ESV
1 Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you! 2 Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress! Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call!
(( comment ))
It is not just in the psalms that we find this kind of boldness.
Nehemiah 1:4–6 ESV
4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned.
and perhaps the boldest one of all… from a psalm of David
Psalm 143:1–2 ESV
1 Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness! 2 Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.
If you have the proper respect and fear of God, what could embolden you to pray this way?
Desperation!
Is there anything you need desperately from God?
How about the salvation of someone you love?
How about the salvation of a lost neighbor?
How about the health and well-being of this church?
How about the success of a church plant?
==
Let’s finish up with some...

Reasons why God doesn’t answer prayer

You may be withholding forgiveness to someone else.
Luke 11:4 ESV
4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
You may be praying outside of God’s will.
1 John 5:14 ESV
14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
You may be praying with wrong motives.
James 4:3 ESV
3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
You may have unconfessed sin.
Psalm 66:18 ESV
18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
You may be failing to read and heed the Word.
John 15:7 ESV
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
You may be treating your spouse badly.
1 Peter 3:7 ESV
7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
==
This is not an exhaustive list...
but...
pay attention.
Especially to the one about failing to read and heed the Word.
That is amazingly common amongst American church goers, but it absolutely should not be.
==
Another reason that God may not answer your prayers is that you are not yet His.
GOSPEL
==
I hope this gives you a new determination, tenacity, and boldness in your prayer life.
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