The Book of Luke, Teach Us To Pray - Lesson 140
Luke 11:1-13, And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. 2And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3Give us day by day our daily bread. 4And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 8I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. 9And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
In this prayer we are given the essential things for which the disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ should consistently pray.
Disciples should pray for the coming of Godís Kingdom, along with its revelation of Godís character, for daily physical needs, and for Godís provision for sin.
And as part of that provision for sin we need to continue of lesson of this passage by looking at the last part of the prayer which reads:
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
This part of the prayer is a request that God enable us to deal with sin at its very roots, rather than waiting for its bearing of fruit.
This is about keeping that from us which tends to lead us to sin.
This is about staying as far from the edge of the cliff of sin as is possible.
We know from James 1:13-15, that God does not tempt any man to sin so this prayer is not asking for God to stop tempting us to sin for we know that he never does that anyway.
James 1:13-15, Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
This prayer is an expression of a desire on our part not to be tempted to sin.
Many of us put confidence in the flesh and think that we can overcome temptation and escape temptation but this is a prayer that we not be faced with temptation.
Therefore the prayer of the disciple should acknowledge the reality of his sin and his need for forgiveness, but at the same time he should seek by prayer to avoid sin altogether by being kept even from the invitation to sin by temptation.
The prayer of Luke 11:2-4, which our Lord taught was a prayer for disciples.
It is similar to the prayer that Jesus taught in His Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthewís Gospel.
It is a prayer most appropriate for those who are poor, those who are mourning over their sin and the sin of their nation, and those who are persecuted.
Humble servants of God will gladly pray for the coming of our Lordís kingdom, when Satan and sin will be conquered, and for whom daily provisions are sought from God.
This prayer is for that believer who seriously follows Jesus Christ in his or her life.
It is for those whose total dependence is upon God and Godís provision.
It is for those who share the same Father as Jesus Christ.
Only the one who knows God as their Father can pray to Him as their heavenly Father and do so expecting Him to hear and to answer with good gifts.
So Jesus in not expecting those who are not his children to pray this prayer but provides it for those who have received him as their Savior and desire to be his disciple.
It is for those who have acknowledged that the only way for a sinner to come to the Father is through Godís Son, Jesus Christ.
The Bible clearly says that no man comes to the Father but by Jesus Christ.
This is the Lord Jesus Christ who has come to the earth and has died in the sinnerís place and taken that sin upon himself never to be known anymore.
As the song says,
Hear the news,
sinner, free! free! free!
Godís anger toward the sinnerís sin has already fallen on Jesus Christ.
All that the sinner must do is to receive Godís gift of forgiveness and of eternal life through His Son which he accomplished for you through His death on the cross of Calvary.
Only then can that sinner pray this prayer for he now has a Father that will hear him.
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3Give us day by day our daily bread. 4And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
In the first part of this passage in Luke 11:1-13, Jesus Christ provides his disciples with what they should pray for.
In the following verses he provides his disciples the kind of action in praying that gets results.
Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 8I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
The common homes in the day in which Jesus Christ ministered were very simple, consisting of two-level apartments.
The one section was raised somewhat above the other, and there was very little privacy.
Even the domestic animals were brought into the house during the night to prevent them from being stolen.
The upper platform was the bedroom where the family lay on the floor.
The animals occupied the lower deck of the house and when the entire family had retired for the night it would be a great nuisance to get up and disturb the whole household to answer anyone who had come calling at midnight.
If the family were large, which most were, it would be necessary to step over or between the sleeping people.
The animals would be awoken, and by the time the operation would have been completed, everyone would be disturbed and probably grumbling.
Most likely a few knocks at the door from his neighbor friend would have been ignored.
A few knocks ignored would have communicated to a friend that the man of the house was in bed and could not come to the door and that would have ended it.
But this man at the door continued knocking and his knocking announced the fact that he was determined to remain a nuisance unless somebody in that house opened the door.
He needed something and he needed it urgently.
This word importunity describes this action.
It means a pressing solicitation, urgent request, application for a claim or favor, which is urged with troublesome frequency or pertinacity (obstinacy, resolution).
It is the shameless asking for help.
It is the ďGotta have it or Iíll dieĒ kind of request.
So by this the Lord describes the art of prayer.
By this he does not mean that God had to be coaxed into responding to the requests of his children.
Jesus was giving us a comparison, a contrast.
If ordinary men would do this thing, how much more could God be expected to do.
He then further describes the three stages of prayer, asking, seeking, and knocking.
We miss many answers to prayer because we are not in earnest about the thing we desire to be done and earnestness involves all three stages of prayer.
9And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
The other day I was involved in tree cutting, clearing trees from the road to my house.
I seem to be involved in a lot of that these days but this day I got my chain saw caught in a saw cut when the tree branch did not fall the way I had planned it to fall.
Cutting trees and tree branches requires choice in each saw cut.
Should I cut from the bottom up or from the top down or perhaps even from the side.
It depends on the stress on the branch and sometimes the wrong choice is made.
I chose wrongly on this branch and my saw was immediately and firmly clamped by the branch in the cut.
I went to find my steel wedge and my ax so as to force the wedge into the saw cut and release my saw.
I chose to pound the ax into the cut and laid the wedge on the ground.
Later on after working for some time, I said to myself, where is my wedge.
I have learned to pray for things lost so I asked the Lord to direct me to find the wedge.
I did not expect the Lord to deliver the wedge to me in person, or float the wedge to me in the air, so I went in the area in which I was working and began to seek.
I did not find it immediately so I knocked at Heavenís door again in prayer and soon the door was opened as I continued to spread the debris on the ground and the wedge appeared to me.
Thank your Lord I prayed. I asked, I sought, I knocked and I found.
All three stages of prayer were involved.
Say you pray that a certain project in the church be done.
Do you just ask, but not seek and knock.
Do you open your wallet and seek some funds to do what you can do toward the project?
If the funds are not there or if enough funds are not in your wallet to complete the project do you continue to knock, knock and knock until you find that the Lord has met the need.
This man who needed bread did all of these things.
He asked, but it did not stop there, he sought but it did not stop there, he knocked and knocked and knocked until the door was opened by his friend and he received bread for his guests.
His boldness, his shamelessness, his persistence paid off.
This man by persistently knocking, had the door opened to him.
He, by boldly asking, got what he asked for.
He sought and he found what he was seeking.
So, too, this is to be with the disciple in his prayers.
Consistent, persistent prayer, daily prayer, is to be motivated by the assurance that if a friend will give what is sought, even if inconvenient, then God will surely answer our petitions.