Father's Day -- Prayer

June 18, 2017Luke 11: 1 – 13PrayerFather’s Day 

     I figured we might as well just jump right towards the end of this passage where Jesus said to the people in verse 11 which of you fathers if your son asks for a fish would instead give him a snake or if he asks for an egg would give him a scorpion instead.   If you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children how much more your heavenly father.  God delights in blessing you with good things but you have to believe and ask.  Lord teach us to pray. We have a loving heavenly father.  He is a good, good father.  

    In Ezekiel 16 God is talking about his people and God said.   ‘I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you.    I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put sandals of fine leather on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments.   I adorned you with jewelry:   I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck, and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head.

     So, you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was honey, olive oil and the finest flour. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen.   And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign Lord.  And then sadly they turned from the Lord. “God said ‘But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute.   You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his. But we see God’s goodness to them and God’s provision for them.

     God blessed them when they walked with him.  God blessed their flocks and their grain.   God granted them peace and his presence. God’s presence was in the tabernacle and in the temple.   God gave them his law.  These verses explain how God treated his wife.  Men do you want to know how to treat your wife?   Look in the bible.  See what God did.  God provided for them.  God washed them and God paid attention to them.  God was involved with their life.  God blessed them.  I would see this as more than just providing financially for them.  In I Peter we see that the real beauty of a woman is what is in side of her.   It is a gentle and quiet spirit.  There is a strength of character for those who trusts God. 

   When Ruth came to Boaz he covered her with his robe or skirt as a sign that he was going to take care of her.  She must have felt safe.  He was quite able to provide for her.  He was able to protect her. He was successful man and hardworking and he was very compassionate to her.  He told his crew to leave some grain for her.  In Ezekiel 16 verse 8 God said Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your naked body. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.  That was very important to God.  You became mine.  I covered you and I love you and I will provide for you.   God covers you.  Can you think of anyone who could do any better?  What an awesome thought.   God covers me.   God said belong to me.  In God’s eyes, you are in a covenant relationship with him. 

   Being a good father and good husband is more than just providing for your family.  It is also protecting them.  Many men are willing to physically protect their family but are they are not prepared to protect them spiritually.  Men if you are not praying and in the bible, you are walking in your own wisdom.   You are walking with your limited eyes sight.  There is a sense that we are blind.  If we do not see the spiritual we are missing way too much.  We wrestle not against flesh and blood.  There is a spiritual side to life.  Let’s face it Satan is coming after this nation and he is going after your family.  Children need protection.  They need protection in school against teachers and children that do not walk in biblical paths and morality.  They do not hold to the same values that we have.  Even though their paths are wrong they want us to be like them. 

    In Matthews prayer, he writes your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Jesus taught us to pray Lord your will be done.  We pray for his will to be done.  What is God’s will for your children today?  Do we know do we hear God speak?  Do we know how God wants to bless us?  Do we know when God wants something done?  Does God speak to you when he wants to bless someone.  He can force his will but instead Jesus said you pray.  Does God want someone to be healed?   Does God want someone to be saved?  Does God want to bless someone with some extra money?  Does God want me to pray that in?   What needs does God want to meet today in your life?  Are you asking and trusting him to do it?   Jesus tells us to pray for our daily bread or our daily needs.  What are the needs of those around you?  How does God want to bless them?  

    God has told us to pray.   I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray continuously.   Ephesians 6:18 and pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests, with this in mind be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.   I Timothy 2 I urge then first of all that requests, prayers intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.   This is good and pleases God our savior who wants all men to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.   Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God.    Jesus said men should always pray and not faint.   Jesus in several places in the gospels invites us to pray.     Hebrews says to come boldly before God.   The God that we come before is a loving heavenly Father who wants us to trust him.

       Jesus invites us away from the world in the passage and tells us to pray. That is amazing.   Jesus invites us to pray.   Jesus was praying.  It was a life style for him.  The disciples come and ask him to teach them.   The request was teach us to pray.  Jesus points us to God and when we follow His advice we live on a higher plane.    Those that believe in prayer pray.  It has been said that:   "To pray without action is hypocrisy.    To act without prayer is pagan.      The power of prayer is not in the one who prays but in the one who hears it." -Max Lucado.   The power of prayer is not in you but in God.    We pray and God answers.   We are finite, helpless, and impotent.   God is infinite, all-powerful and willing to answer prayer.    To pray is to admit that we cannot do it without him.  To pray is to admit we do not have all the answers.  To pray is to humble myself.  To pray is to come into his presence.   

    Jesus builds his kingdom through the prayers of His people and the working of the Holy Spirit though Christians.   Thy kingdom come thy will be done.   God wants you to be effective in prayer.   We will reign and rule with Jesus in heaven and in a sense, we should be reigning and ruling here on earth now in submission to God’s spirit.  Jesus told us to pray, “Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.   God wants heaven on earth.  Prayer invades and conquers the kingdom of darkness and Satan.   Satan is a thief and God uses prayer to stop him and to establish his will on earth.  To pray is to engage in spiritual warfare.   God wants to pour out his blessing upon us on earth right now.   Every good and perfect gift is from God and God desires to pour out blessings.  

      We have been rescued as Christians from this world system and God has granted us power to change the world.   He has given us power in the HS to work to set the captives free.   He is looking for people to stand in the gap to pray and invade the powers of darkness.    Sometimes we do not pray because we say God knows my needs.   Yet Scripture tells us to pray about everything.   Jesus said to pray give us today our daily bread.   John Wesley said, “God will do nothing on earth except in answer to believing prayer.”     Do you believe that?    Jesus said pray your kingdom come and your will be done.   Jesus told us to pray for our daily bread or you could say our daily needs.        

       Jesus came to give his children abundant life.  Abundant life is found in Jesus.  Jesus knows how to give good things.   Jesus knows how to meet your every need.   Jesus can bring light and joy.  Through prayer we can break through the darkness and forces of hell into light and into blessing.   Curses can be turned into blessings.  We can walk in power and victory.    Pray folks and become a person of prayer.  You can move the hand of God.  Heaven will answer.  God is involved with all of his creation.  And Jesus said to be persistent.  Do not quit.  Do not give up.  Jesus shares this parable with them.        And He said to them, "Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, "Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him.”  

       In order to understand this parable, we need to understand a few things about first century culture.   First of all, food was not as readily available as it is today.   There was no refrigeration in those days and no fast food places.     Hospitality was held in high regard and was seen almost as a duty.    A visitor was welcomed and cared for, regardless of the hour of his arrival.    In order to avoid the intense midday heat, people often traveled in the evening.    It would make sense then that a traveler arriving near midnight was not uncommon.   It takes time to travel on foot.    Here is the dilemma.    The poor unprepared host has a late arriving guest who is hungry after a long and exhausting journey and it is his duty as host to provide a meal, but he has no bread.    It has been said that not to provide for his guest’s needs would not only bring shame upon himself and his family but to the village as a whole. 

     So, he goes to his friend’s house regardless of the lateness of the hour and to ask for his help.   It takes nerve to do that.   How many people would you feel comfortable with to call them in the middle of the night for help?   There is a tension in this passage isn’t there?   There is the need and then there is the difficulty of meeting the need.   Jesus adds to the tension.    The neighbor will answer from within and say, "Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and help you.  We need to remember that God never sleeps.   God always wants to hear your voice and your prayers.   Jesus is not telling us a story to make us think that God is reluctant to answer our prayers.    But for man it is tough to wake the kids up.  It can take a while to quiet them down.   So, he refuses his neighbor.

    But the guy keeps knocking on the door.  He is persistent and does not quit.  He is a man on a mission.  It is embarrassing to keep knocking but that is what he does.   You have to stay focused.  The man on the inside of the house realizes that he is going to have more trouble if he does not get up quickly and get his neighbor to stop knocking on his door.    Jesus said well he will get out of bed now and give him as much as he needs.   Jesus tells us after this story to ask and keep on asking.  Don’t give up.  Do not quit.  Sometimes you must persist in your prayers.

    Then Jesus says right after this you pray.  I think Jesus is saying what kind of commitment should we come before God with?   How gutsy are you?  Do you really, really, really want God to give you what you want?   Granted our prayers are not for us to fulfill your own lust and desires.    What kind of a commitment do you make to see your prayer answered?   It does not mean that we are bossy to God.    What kind of faith do you bring to the table?   God looks at your heart and He can see your heart and your motive.    As Jesus is speaking this verse he is really using present tense so the meaning of the verse here is ask and keep on asking seek and keep on seeking and knock and keep on knocking.   Jesus is saying stay with it.   We are prone to quit.  Many times, we want to quit.   God says no. 

     I do not believe that Jesus is teaching here that God is reluctant to answer the prayer.   God is not inconvenienced because you ask Him for something.  God ahs covered us and blessed us and we can do that for others.  Men you need to do that for your family not only provide for them financially but spiritually.  Cover your spouse and bless her.