Praying Like a Master (Lent 7-2019)

From Martha’s home, Jesus went off by Himself.  He needed to remove the distractions and spend some time praying to His Father.  It wasn’t just prayer and it wasn’t just worship.  It wasn’t just an unburdening or even telling His Father something He didn’t already know. 

No, it was something more for Jesus to pray: It was vital to His relationship with His Father, a relationship of complete abiding to continue long after the work in Jerusalem was done.  It was strength for the journey, work in the spiritual realm, and most importantly the best way to truly be with His Father during the time Jesus would spend on earth– a perfect taste …  an exquisite reminder … of what He knew intimately before the Incarnation.  This time of sweet communion was something He knew He would miss when He took on flesh, but He didn’t really know how it would feel until He was walking in Adam’s sandals and felt the pain of what sin did to man’s relationship with the Father.  He knew what had been lost.

Luke 11:1 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.”

They’d been watching Him in the distance, analyzing what He was doing and how He was doing it.  They noted that He always came away from His time of prayer energized and joyful.  They spoke to each other in a low voice while He was praying, so as not to disturb Him, but they wondered to each other at how His prayers seemed to do so much more than theirs.  Maybe they weren’t doing it right.  So they asked Him to teach them to have powerful prayer, too! 

Luke 11:2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation. ‘”

That’s it?  That’s all You’re doing?  Surely there must be something more!  We could say those very words and still not see the power You see or the know the refreshment You obviously get.  “Why doesn’t prayer work for me?” each man asked of himself.

Luke 11:5 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; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 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.’ 8 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. 9 “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. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Asking.  How hard is that?  They looked at each other quizzically yet satisfied that this was the answer they would get.

Jesus smiled at the progress.  What they still needed to know in order to pray like the Master prays would be deeper understanding of Who to ask, for Whom to seek, and on Whose door to knock, so He added. 

Luke 11:13 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!”

Still work to be done with these “simply humans” before the journey’s end, but they’re making progress. Think about it: 

  • How happy are you with your prayer life? 
  • Do your prayers seem like a list? Wish list? Shopping list? Health record? Family tree? To-do lists?
  • In Luke 11:12 we find the only egg in the Easter story.  In what way is this far more instructive than finding one filled with candy in the grass? 
  • If we believed in God’s goodness more, would our prayers be more powerful?

Lord God, Your Word tells us You are good, You are faithful, You are loving, and You are generous. Your Word tells us all we need to do is ask You because of those beautiful attributes of Your character. You are our Father in heaven and we praise You! Increase our faith so we might believe as fully as possible on this side of heaven. Increase our trust so that we might have confidence. Increase our dependence upon You because all good gifts come from You. Help us to view prayer rightly and to see Your power displayed for Your glory alone! Amen.

If you’re already signed up on my Home Page sidebar to receive posts, you’ll get the 2019 Lent Devotionals automatically. Or you can “Like” Seminary Gal on Facebook and they’ll be delivered to your Facebook news feed. If you haven’t signed up, today is a great day to do so. Advent and Lenten devotionals remain among my most popular offerings. You don’t want to miss this great look at the Easter story to prepare your heart for Easter! Understanding that prior years’ devotionals remain popular,

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 13, 2019

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google Stumble Upon Digg Reddit

Leave a Reply