Lord, Teach Us To Believe in Prayer
Parable Series, The Friend at Midnight
To many people, prayer is the last resort and not the first step in solving their problems. People want to solve their difficulties first without God in the picture. But when things become too difficult, they turn to God. They find it hard to really believe in prayer. Primarily because they don't fully understand the nature of God.
Thus, it is essential to understand that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, unchanging, and everlasting to help us believe in prayer. Jesus prayed in many occasions. He prayed during his baptism. He prayed before choosing his disciples. Jesus also prayed at every crisis of his life even before he was betrayed. He even prayed for strength.
Hence, one of his disciples was greatly impressed in Jesus’ prayer life. He must have discerned that Jesus’ strength would come from praying to his Father. And it was no wonder that this unnamed disciple had asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. So, Jesus gave them the model prayer.
1. The Model Prayer
“’”2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread.4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.”’” Luke 11:2-4
Prayer is addressed to God as Father because He is all-knowing and all-powerful.
It also denotes the importance of our intimate father-child relationship.
Jesus taught his disciple to ask for at least 6 things.
God’s name to be revered by all. “hallowed be your name.”
For God to reign. “your kingdom come”
For God to provide their needs. “Give us each day our daily bread.”
For God’s mercy – “Forgive us our sins.”
Help in mending broken human relationship – “as we forgive everyone who sins against us.”
Help in spiritual growth. “lead us not into temptation.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18, “17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
ACTS - Adore God, Confess your sins, Thank God always, Supplicate your needs
2. The Motivation to Pray. vv.5-6
“5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’” Luke 11:5-6
Hospitality is a culture deeply embedded in ancient times.
The host was obligated to protect and provide board and lodging.
Neighbors depend on each other for help.
They make bread for daily consumption.
At midnight, with no more bread left, the good neighbor went to his neighbor to ask a favor.
His persistent request convinced the neighbor to help.
Motivation to come to God in prayer.
a) God is never too busy to listen to our prayers.
b) God is interested with your needs.
c) God will provide what is best for you.
“13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
d) Man’s greatest need is the Holy Spirit.
• He is the guarantor for our salvation.
“13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”
e) God gave the Holy Spirit to help us pray.
• He is our Helper.
Romans 8:26-27, “26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
Believe that prayer works.
Make prayer your priority not the last resort.
Pray boldly and persistently.