In Luke, Chapter 11, one of Jesus’ disciples asked, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1b (KJV)With this simple request, Jesus begins to teach. This is how God works. When you ask according to His will, He answers your prayer.
And 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.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And 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.
Luke 11:3-4 (KJV)
The first thing Jesus does is teach by example. In fact, Jesus was already praying, and it is when he was done praying that the request was made, “Lord, teach us to pray.” In this prayer, Jesus shows you everything you need to pray for. More commonly known as the Lord’s prayer, these three verses are so much more than that! Jesus did not give these words for you to just repeat. Jesus gave you this prayer as your example.
After Jesus gives this example, he tells a story. Jesus is using a story to teach another important aspect of prayer.
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; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And 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. I 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. — Luke 11:5-8 (KJV)
As you read the above verses, notice how the man, who has need in the story, is persistent. The key word is toward the end of Verse 8. That word is importunity. Here is the definition of importunity from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.
IMPORTUNITY Pressing solicitation; urgent request; application for a claim or favor, which is urged with troublesome frequency or pertinacity.
Notice how the man continued to ask his friend until his request was granted. Think about the word, importunity, as it relates to your prayers to God.
Jesus then concludes his teaching on prayer by telling his disciples to go to God in prayer. He tells them to ask, seek, and knock. He tells them how good God is and how much God wants to give them the Holy Spirit.
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If 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? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If 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? — Luke 11:9-13 (KJV)
I have intentionally not gone into a lot of detail over these verses. Jesus taught it so well. Spend some time with God in these verses and ask, “Lord, teach me to pray.”
God Bless, Mike