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sf970 - The Priority Of Prayer (Luke 11 1-13)

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Luke 11:1-13

Introduction

There is no greater privilege for the Christian than the opportunity to speak directly to the God of the universe.  Not only does the Lord allow us this privilege but He commands us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). 

So we join His first disciples seeking to learn how to pray.  Let us sit at Jesus’ feet that we too may learn how to pray.

1A.      A Model for Prayer (11:1-4)

1B.      The influence of Jesus’ prayer life (11:1)

The divine example – “while Jesus was praying in a certain place”

Ø      The model that Jesus practiced in praying that caused them to ask questions about prayer.

Ø      The greatest argument for prayer is to see Jesus on His knees praying.

Ø      If Jesus in humility prayed then in our deficiency we should pray.

The human desire – “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.”

Ø      They went to the right Person – “Lord.”

Ø      They made the right petition – “teach us to pray.”


2B.      His instructions about prayer (11:2-4)

1.         The command to pray.

Ø      He said, “When” not “if.”

Prayer is to the spiritual life what breathing is to the physical life – it is essential.

Ø      Should we repeat this prayer exactly?

Yes and no.  Repeat it enough to learn all the concepts but do not let it become artificial.

2.         The context of prayer

Ø      Not “my” but “our”

Jesus is forcing us to pray in the plural, as members of a family, as members of a fellowship of believers. 

We are to be “others” conscious as we pray, seeking the welfare of others and not just our own interests.

To think and pray in plural means we cannot make our prayers selfish. 

Ø      Any sin a Christian commits is a sin against the entire body.

The reason our prayers are not answered is we insist on using the pronouns “I” and “me.”  He will not answer that prayer!  (James 4:2-3)

Notice that the appeal for forgiveness is for the entire body. 


3.         The central focus of prayer - God and His glory (11:2)

Ø      The formula

Father – speaks of intimacy

Hallowed be Your name, Your Kingdom come… – speaks of authority

We have the perfect instructions on how to pray; a perfect balance of His intimacy with us, and the respect of His authority over our lives. 

We are to be confident but not comfortable.

Ø      The force

The best way to live the Christian life is look into heaven, see what is going on there, and ask God to reproduce it here on Earth.

4.         The compassionate grace of prayer (11:3-4)

Ø      God’s provision (11:3)

The schedule for God’s provision – “each day”

The specifics of God’s provision – “daily bread”

“Bread is the symbol for everything necessary for the preservation of this life, like food, a healthy body, good weather, house, home, wife, children, good government, and peace.”  (Martin Luther, Smaller Catechism on the Lord’s Prayer)

God provides food for us.  (Genesis 1:29-31); God provides clothing for us to wear.  (Matthew 6:28-30); God provides everything we have and need.  (Philippians 4:19)


Ø      God’s pardon (11:4a)

Forgiveness explained

God passes by our sin (Micah 7:18-19); God removes our sin (Isaiah 53:6); God covers our sin (Psalm 85:2); God blots out our sin (Isaiah 43:25); God refuses to remember our sin (Jeremiah 31:34)

Forgiveness expressed – Judicial/positional forgiveness

The pronouncement of forgiveness

The payment for forgiveness (Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 2:12)

The position of the forgiven (Hebrews 10:10-14)

Forgiveness experienced – Parental/practical forgiveness

Practical forgiveness defined (Matthew 6:12)

Practical forgiveness demonstrated (John 13:8-10)

Ø      God’s protection (11:4b)

Temptation eirasmos; a putting to proof; a trial

God’s is not the source of sinful temptations (James 1:13-15)

God has a purpose for our trials.  (1 Peter 1:6-7)


2A.      The Motivations for Prayer (11:5-13)

1B.      The need of others (11:5-8)

We must perceive the needs around us (11:5-6)

We must persist on their behalf (11:7-8)

We must pass along what we have received (11:8)

2B.      The nature of God (11:9-13)

Three imperative verbs (11:9)

Ø      Asking speaks of the petition of our prayer

Ask, aiteo, to as, beg, call for, crave, desire, require

The greatest problem in prayer is the lack of asking!  (James 4:2)  - It is a sin not to pray!

Ø      Seeking – speaks of the purpose of our prayer

Seek, zeteo, to worship (God), or desire, endeavor, enquire

We are to seek to fulfill the purpose of God

We are to seek the presence of God

God will do something in us before he does something through us.  (James 4:8)

We are to seek the power of God  (James 5:16)

Ø      Knocking – speaks of the persistence of our prayer.

When do you stop praying?

When God gives you what you ask for.  - Direct answer

When God assures you of what you ask for.  - Delayed answer

When God says no - Denied answer


Two important truths about prayer (11:10)

Ø      The verb tenses

Ask: Everyone who asks (present tense) – receives (present tense)

Seeks: He who seeks (present tense), finds (present tense) go on seeking-go on finding

Knock: To him who knocks (present tense) it shall be opened (future tense) the knocking must take place now but the door will be opened sometime in the future.

Ø      The subject and object of the verbs

Ask: The one asking will receive – same person I ask, I receive

Seek: The one seeking will find- I seek, I find

Knock: The one knocking does not open the door – I knock, someone else opens. 

It is our business to knock and God’s business to open.

One basis for prayer (11:11-13)

Ø      Our relationship with God

God will never give to you in answer to your prayers anything that is:

Worthless (from His point of view) to His purpose for you – a stone is worthless when you need food (something worthwhile), even if we think what we ask for is worthwhile.  (Matthew 7:9)

God will never give you in answer to your prayers anything that is:

Dangerous (from His point of view) to His purpose for you – “a serpent and a scorpion are both positively dangerous.


Ø       How do I know that God is going to answer prayer?

By the way I will always take care of my children!

Ø      I know God will answer my prayers because...

God is good!!

God is wise!!

God is able!!

Application

So how are we to pray?

Regularly, like Jesus

Reverently to God

Humbly for our daily needs

Honestly about our sins and temptations

Persistently for ourselves and others

Passionately depending on His goodness and grace


Luke 11:1-13

1A.      A Model for Prayer (11:1-4)

1B.      The ___________ of Jesus’ prayer life  (11:1)

The divine example – “while Jesus was praying in a certain place”

The human __________________ – “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.”

2B.      His instructions about prayer (11:2-4)

1.         The ________________________ to pray.

2.         The _____________________ of prayer

Ø      Not “my” but “our”

Ø      Any sin a Christian commits is a sin against the entire body.

3.         The _________________ focus of prayer - God and His glory (11:2)

We have the perfect instructions on how to pray; a perfect balance of His intimacy with us, and the respect of His authority over our lives. 

We are to be confident but not comfortable.

The best way to live the Christian life is look into heaven, see what is going on there, and ask God to reproduce it here on Earth.

4.         The ___________________________ grace of prayer (11:3-4)

Ø      God’s provision (11:3)

Ø      God’s pardon (11:4a)

Ø      God’s protection (11:4b)

God’s is not the source of sinful temptations (James 1:13-15)

God has a purpose for our trials.  (1 Peter 1:6-7)


2A.      The Motivations for Prayer (11:5-13)

1B.      The ____________________ of others (11:5-8)

We must perceive the needs around us (11:5-6)

We must persist on their behalf (11:7-8)

We must pass along what we have received (11:8)

2B.      The ____________________ of God (11:9-13)

_____________________ imperative verbs (11:9)

Ø      Asking speaks of the petition of our prayer

Ask, aiteo, to as, beg, call for, crave, desire, require

Ø      _______________________ – speaks of the purpose of our prayer

Seek, zeteo, to worship (God), or desire, endeavor, enquire

Ø      _______________________ – speaks of the persistence of our prayer.

Two important truths about prayer (11:10)

Ø      The verb tenses

Ø      The subject and object of the verbs

Ask: The one asking will receive – same person I ask, I receive

Seek: The one seeking will find- I seek, I find

Knock: The one knocking does not open the door – I knock, someone else opens. 

__________________ basis for prayer (11:11-13)

Ø      Our relationship with God.

Ø      I know God will answer my prayers because...God is good; God is wise; God is able!

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