1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
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.’”
5 Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’
7 “Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 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!”
I’m going to make a couple of brief comments about this passage and then give you some supplementary things to chew on about prayer.
First, this passage tells us more about the nature of God than it does about how to pray. The one thing that I see more than anything is the fact that God is Father! It makes me sad that so many people do not understand how incredible it is to be able to call upon our Heavenly Father because they have such a messed up picture of what a real father is in their personal lives. This has been very true for me. I grew up without a dad’s influence in my life. My folks were divorced when I was six, we then moved 60 miles away, and then he died when I was 13. So my dad was never really present in my life. I think this accounts for why prayer for me has always been hard and why I have never felt enjoyed a deep, satisfying, intimate prayer life. It is something I have to work at – when it should be one of the pure joys of my life… hanging out in the presence of my Heavenly DAD.
Second, the one thing I do get from this passage about how to pray is to pray boldly. Don’t be afraid to ask God for what you want. And to keep on asking Him until He answers. James says in his epistle, “You do not have because you do not ask…” So ask! The worse He can say is NO. But He just might say YES. Just always remember that He is your DAD. He wants what is for your good and for His glory. He doesn’t want spoiled children but He does want you to delight in Him and to enjoy the freedom to ask Him for anything. He is wise enough to know if what you are asking for should be given.
Through the years I’ve found some quotes about prayer that I really like – so I want to share a few of these with you as well. They are also worth spending some pondering time on.
Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God. and a scourge for Satan. John Bunyan
Our prayers lay the track down which God’s power can come. Like a mighty locomotive, his power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails. Watchman Nee
People who live in prayer mode see opportunities that other people don’t notice. People who don’t live in prayer mode are opportunity blind….Prayer has a way of helping us recognize that what we might dismiss as human accidents are really divine appointments. Mark Batterson
Heaven is full of answers to prayer for which no one bothered to ask. Billy Graham
God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer. Mother Teresa
Take some time this week to enjoy some quality time with your DAD. It may be the best thing that you can do for you and your family.
I’m just sayin’!
Next Week’s Passage: Colossians 3:1-4
Next Week’s Memory Verse: Colossians 3:1