Praying with persistence
Lord, give me insight, but beyond that, the willingness to put what I discover into practice.
Read LUKE 11:1–13
 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”  He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.  Give us each day our daily bread.  Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.'”  Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread;  a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’  And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’  I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.  “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is Jesus teaching us about how we are to pray?
These very familiar words tell us what Christian prayer is all about. It’s all about God and what he is like. It’s all about the coming of his kingdom on earth. It’s about his care for his creation. It’s about the constant need of forgiveness in a broken world. And it’s about avoiding daily the pitfalls which litter our path. The parable which follows (5–8) is not intended to portray God as some heartless or idle friend who can’t be bothered to listen. Some of us look upon God just like that. Rather, it teaches that even such a bad friend will eventually respond to your pleas for help. How much more will a loving and gracious God?! Be bold and shameless. Say what you want. It all comes back to the nature of the God you pray to. Even an earthly father knows how to respond appropriately to his child’s request (11–13). How much more will God share his blessings—even to the point of sharing his very self and pouring out his Spirit upon us as we pray!
Turn to God now with renewed confidence. Trusting the nature of God, persist with boldness.
Father, teach us the power of prayer and the heart with which You hear our prayers.