After Jesus gives his disciples his pattern for how they should pray in Luke 11, he continues by telling them a story. His main point is to teach them, and us, to continue in persistent and confident prayers, even when we see no answers.

In this story, Jesus describes a man and his family who are asleep in their home at midnight. A friend of the man suddenly begins knocking at his door because he needs bread for his guests. Jesus says the man who was in bed doesn’t get up and open the door. Instead this man yells out, “Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything” (Luke 11:7).

The reason the man says his children were with him in bed is because he and all his family members were probably sleeping together in one large room, as was the custom then. And if the man gets up and lights a lamp, he’ll wake everyone up.

But, Jesus says the man eventually got up because of one reason. His friend continued knocking. The Greek word, ἀναίδειαν, used to describe what this man did can be translated by several different words. One is “persistence”. He persisted knocking.

Another word is “impudence”, meaning without modesty or shame. This is a shameless boldness. It’s someone continually knocking without any shame, in brazenly immodest way. What is shameless is not what is being asked for. He’s just asking for bread. But what is shameless is that he won’t stop asking until he receives the answer.

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Jesus is teaching us here that this is how we should pray. With persistent, shameless boldness especially when facing no answer.

Jesus continues teaching by saying, “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9. These words are in the present tense, meaning more literally, “Keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking.”

It’s very easy for us to see this teaching of Jesus on prayer more like suggestions of Jesus rather than commands. Prayer is a privilege of the children of God. But we also learn here that persistent prayer is also a command. If we are not persevering and persisting in prayer in the face of no answers, we are being disobedient to God.

If we are not persevering and persisting in prayer in the
face of no answers, we are being disobedient to God.

This is why a long-term devotion to persistent Kingdom prayer, following the pattern Jesus gave us, must be at the core of every church that wants to be healthy. Only a church committed to persistent kingdom prayer will be a true foretaste and instrument of the Kingdom of God on earth.

After Jesus first gives us a pattern to follow in prayer, and then he calls us to be persistent in our prayer; he ends his teaching on prayer with words meant to inspire us to have confidence when we pray.

Jesus says: “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:10-13).

Notice how Jesus ends his teaching on prayer where he began—pointing us to the Father. In the pattern he gave us, he teaches us that, when we pray, we should pray to God as Our Father. Here he teaches us that when we pray to Our Father, we need to remember that he is a good and loving Father who takes great pleasure in hearing and answering the persistent prayers of his children.

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If you ask for something and you don’t get it, it probably wouldn’t have been a good gift. Matthew 7:11.

That’s your confidence. You are not alone. You’re not without resources. You have a Father who gives good gifts. John Newton reminds us, that when our loving Heavenly Father doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want, it doesn’t mean he does not hear or that he is not answering. Newton writes, “God works all things together for our good: everything is needful that he sends; nothing is needful that he withholds.”

“God works all things together for our good:
everything is needful that he sends; nothing is needful that he withholds.”

If you want to know that you can trust the Father, look at his one and only Son, Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane before going to the cross. He asked the Father to allow the cup of God’s wrath not to be poured out on him if there was any other way. Did the Father answer his eternal Son’s prayer?

He didn’t answer his prayer by allowing Jesus to avoid the cross. He knew that without the cross, Jesus could not fulfill his mission by ultimately defeating Sin, Satan, and death itself. Without the cross, Jesus could never be raised from the dead with power, ascend to the right hand of God, and pour out the fullness of God’s Spirit on his church to form a people from every tribe, tongue, and nation who will worship and serve him in a new heaven and new earth for eternity.

Romans 8:32 drives home the most important point about the Father we must never forget when we pray: “He (Father) who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also graciously give us all things?” When God does not give you what you ask for, don’t allow yourself to think that the Father is not loving you. I promise you. God’s word promises you, that he does. So keep praying with confidence of his love and never forget that Jesus is the highest proof of his love.

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Video 5: Learning to Pray

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The Lord’s Prayer may be one of the best known, least understood and worst applied patterns for prayer ever given. Most of us don’t really pray like this.

Jesus means for his followers to find joy, purpose, and power by asking for God’s name to be glorified, his kingdom to come, and his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

In this 6-part series you’ll be equipped to:

      • Understand the importance of prayer–especially in crises
      • See the connection between prayer and the kingdom of God
      • Explain the place of prayer in the ministry of Jesus
      • Pray front-line, God-centered Kingdom prayers
      • Apply the Lord’s Prayer to your private and public prayers
      • Pray confidently, persistently, and in faith

This brief video (7:43) will help you see how the Lord’s Prayer can help align your life purpose more with God’s purpose for the world today.

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In the bible, we learn that God takes great pleasure in pouring out his blessings on those who will dare to radically align their life purposes with His.

This raises one of the most important and ancient questions of the ages:

“What is God’s purpose for the world today—with which we are to be radically aligning our lives and our prayers?”

The Scriptures are very clear regarding God’s purpose for the world, and Jesus gives us a wonderful glimpse into how our prayers are meant to be in alignment with God’s kingdom purposes in the world when he taught his disciples how to pray. (Mat 6:9,10, Luke 11).

The Lord’s Prayer may be one of the best known, least understood and worst applied patterns for prayer ever given. So, to help us learn how to pray and teach others in our church to pray more in line with God’s will, let’s take a brief survey of this pattern for pray given to us by Jesus.

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First, let’s observe the overall pattern of this prayer. Jesus divides the prayer into two sections:

The first part of the prayer contains God-ward petitions, prayers that we pray to God primarily using the word “Your” for God: “Hallowed be Your Name, May Your Kingdom come, May Your will be done.”

In the second part of the prayer, we find Man-ward petitions, there is a noticeable shift of the pronouns from “Your” referring to God, to “Us” and “Our” referring to us: “Give us this day Our daily bread, Forgive us Our sins, Lead Us not into temptation, Deliver Us from evil.”

It’s also helpful to see that these petitions in the second section were designed to be prayed with others and not merely by ourselves. It can even be difficult to use these petitions as only personal prayers for ourselves because Jesus teaches to pray “Give Us Our daily bread.” Not “Give Me My daily bread.”

Of course, this does not mean we should avoid praying the Lord’s prayer in private. But, even then, we should pray not merely for ourselves but on behalf of others.

Let’s look next at the first God-ward petitions. Jesus begins saying, “Pray then in this way: Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be your name.”

The Lord’s Prayer may be one of the best known, least understood and worst applied patterns for prayer ever given.

Our Father

In the Old Testament, God is mostly referred to as Lord and rarely referred to as “Father. But in the Gospels, the word “Father” is on the lips of Jesus more than 180 times. And every prayer of Jesus addresses God as “Father” except for one prayer. This is a radical new way for the people of God in Jesus’ generation to understand and approach God in prayer. Here, Jesus is authorizing his followers to approach God through him just like he approaches God— as his personal, loving Father. Later Jesus teaches that this new child-like relationship his followers can have with God through him is the only way people can enter God’s Kingdom. Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, unless you become like little children you will in no way enter the Kingdom of God.”

Hallowed be Your Name

Jesus teaches, pray “Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be your name.” Here we learn, from Jesus, that God’s primary purpose in the world today, for which we are to be radically aligning not only our prayers but also our lives, is that His Name would be Hallowed or Glorified. Jesus is echoing the prayer of the Psalmist in Psalm 86:9 who prays, Let…“All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name.”

May Your Kingdom Come

This raises the question, “How are we to glorify the Father’s name?” Jesus answers that question in the next two petitions: “May your Kingdom Come and Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Here we learn that God has chosen to Glorify His Name among all Nations through the Coming of His Kingdom in such a way that it causes His Will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

This Kingdom Mission involves much more than merely seeing “souls saved” and church buildings filled. It also involves seeing the invisible Kingdom of Christ made visible not only in individual human hearts but also in entire families, cities and nations. And It involves seeing the advance of God’s kingdom into the surrounding culture by not only words of truth but also relentless acts of mercy and justice through which the crookedness in society is made straight.

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After these God-ward petitions, Jesus shifts his pronouns to the Man-ward petitions.

  • Jesus teaches us to pray to the Father First about 1) His name, 2) His kingdom, and His will.
  • Then we are to pray 1) Give Us, forgive Us, lead Us, and deliver Us.

But even these petitions about Us should not be seen as separate from the God-ward petitions. Instead they should be seen as the necessary means of fulfilling the God-ward petitions.

Give Us Our Daily Bread. Why?

For example, why do we need “Daily bread?” The answer is so that we can remain alive to see God’s name hallowed by the coming of his kingdom by his will being done on earth through us as it is in heaven.

Forgive Us Our Debts, Lead Us Not Into Temptation, and Deliver Us From Evil. Why?

And this is also why we need to ask God to forgive us our sins, lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil. This is not merely for our sake that we ask for bread, forgiveness, and deliverance from temptation and evil. But for His Sake, for His name and for His Kingdom and for His will.

By teaching his followers to be praying this pattern prayer, Jesus is assuming that his followers will be praying it. He once said, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?” And, Jesus does not mean for us to be merely reciting these words in public worship. He warned us against this by saying “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Instead, Jesus means for his followers to find joy, purpose and power by daily asking for God’s name to be glorified, for God’s kingdom to come and for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Jesus means for his followers to find joy, purpose, and power by asking for God’s name to be glorified, for God’s kingdom to come, and for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

And he means for God’s name, God’s Kingdom, and God’s will to be the reason we ask for our daily bread, our forgiveness, our not being led into temptation and our being delivered from evil. The Lord’s Prayer may be quickly memorized but it takes a long time to be learned by our hearts. But that is a very worthy goal.

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