Just like last week, let us not be too familiar with this passage. Ask God to illuminate it anew for you today!Together these teaching of Christ provide something of a ‘Prayer 101’…
Luke 10:38-42 & 11:1-13
38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.
- This is the first time we meet Mary & Martha (Sisters of Lazarus)
- Martha was the hostess, she invited Jesus Christ into her home / her presence
- Mary is given the chance by Martha, to sit at Christ’s feet, to be in His presence
- She no only heard, she listened to His teaching (she ‘took it to heart’)
40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
- What was Martha distracted from? She wanted to listen to Christ’s teaching too!
- It is not a bad thing to be ‘Doing something for Jesus’…preparing a meal
- It’s a ‘Big Dinner’ / a lot of preparation… Who is she trying to impress?
- She’s frustrated, but she chose to remove herself from the Lord’s presence
- Instead of making the right choice, she wants Jesus to have Mary miss out too!
- She is focused on someone else other than her relationship with Christ
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
- Jesus wants her to know that she is dear to Him, but He points out wrong focus
- He say’s: you’re worried about the wrong stuff, because only one thing matters
- The ‘One thing that matters’ is to listen to my teaching so you can have eternity
- Mary surrendered herself to what matters most and it will be her’s forever
- Mary chose ‘Focused’ discipleship rather than ‘Distracted’ discipleship
Are you leaving space in your world of doing things for Jesus to just BE with Jesus? The idea is that Jesus wants us to sit at His feet (posture of a Disciple). He wants us to not be distracted by doing things, even good things!
1 Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
- Christ had a habit of going off alone to pray, He may have had ‘favorite places’
- When he was done, not interrupting Him, ONE of His disciples implores Christ
- It’s possible this disciple was one of John the Baptist disciples (Andrew & John)
- This is a great request, who better to learn of prayer from?
- The humility of the disciple is key, he recognizes his need to learn about prayer
2 Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: “Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. 3 Give us each day the food we need,
- This is pointed teaching framing out the core of our relationship with God
- This is structure & priorities for how God wants us to communicate with Him
- We start with God’s singular place as the only Holy One!
- He wants us to care about & act in ways that keep His Reputation / Name Holy
- We are to care about & act in ways which enact His will (kingdom come = Will)
- #1 & #2 PRAYER priorities: God’s Reputation & His Will being done
- Greek: may your name be held in honor, may your reign begin
- Daily Bread = Mana… We ask for what we need today; trust in future provision
- God wants us to have an on going relationship, daily contact
4 and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation.”
- Daily seeking God for our needs includes the need to be forgiven
- Our constant experiencing of God’s forgiveness enables us to be forgiving
- We are to ask for HIS power over temptation; Greek: keep us from times of trial
5 Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, 6 ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’
- Now we have a parable that says: if you really need something, keep asking
- It is meant to give an example to what Christ just said about prayer
- He uses an example of one who is asking for something on behalf of others
- It is a request for something necessary, for someone else
7 And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ 8 But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.
- The initial answer is: ‘I can’t help you’
- Then Jesus says: ‘but I’ll tell you this…’ When He says that, we do well to listen
- The answer can change if you can be persistent enough
- A key factor is that Jesus is talking about prayers for others in need
- When asking God for help on behalf of others, our persistence can play a role
9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
- Then He expands the principal by saying, whatever you ask God for keep at it!
- Seeking: looking for answers from God to explain situations
- Knocking: We knock on doors so that someone will come to the door
11 “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people 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.”
- You parents: Your motives for the care of your children are, right?
- Would a parent who’s child asks for something good give them something bad?
- You (any parent) can make this happen in the imperfect state of sin
- Imaging how much better God will do it
- And His desire is for His Spirit to indwell and guide YOU & Me
2 examples of how to listen to Jesus: distracted & focused. Jesus says which is best.
Our Prayer life should start with our growing in unity with who God is & His will.
Our prayer life should be daily relationship about physical provision & soul provision.
We are to be ‘Shamelessly Persistent’ when interceding with God for those in need.
We are to keep asking, seeking & knocking because God WILL answer.
We can trust God’s motives in how He answers our prayers.
What are the things that distract you from a more focused discipleship?
What parts of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ do you practice regularly & what parts need attention?
What is your theological justification for being persistent in praying for other’s needs?
What keeps you from being persistent in praying for your material & spiritual need?