PRIMER ON PRAYER
We have tried to keep these updates short and to the point but this one will be a little longer so please stick with it because we think that it is both helpful and encouraging. This is a primer on prayer.
While reading through a book by Jack Hayford I came across this statement.
“Probably nothing hinders an attitude of expectancy in prayer more than the supposition that all effective prayer has to take a long time. Inherent in our nature is the conviction that, to get anything from God, we have to work hard to earn it.”
JESUS SHOWS US A BETTER WAY
Jesus taught a way for us to develop in our praying that anyone of us can experience. He tells a story in Luke 11:1-13 which teaches us to ask Him freely and boldly. The story goes something like this;
A friend of yours arrives at your home in the middle of the night after travelling all day. He has had nothing to eat all day so you go to prepare something for him, only to discover the pantry is empty. Because the shops are closed you go to another friend and, although it is the middle of the night you bang on the door. Now, Jesus is saying, “which of you has a friend who would stand at his bedroom window and shout out to you saying, ‘Don’t bother me. The whole households in bed’ ” Of course not! It is not even a question of friendship. The friend will get up and give him what he wants because of the simple fact he has had the nerve to ask.
“And I am telling you – ask, and it shall be given to you!”
These statements have often been used to show that prayer must earn answers through overcoming God’s reluctance as if persistence could overcome God’s resistance.
TWO IMPORTANT KEYS
1. The NIV uses the word ‘boldness’ instead of persistence. Persistence is not the essence of this story but rather boldness. We need to learn to ask boldly. The friend abandoned normal protocols to knock on his friend’s door in the middle of the night.
2. The other key point is the misunderstanding of the word ‘ask.’ Its tense in Greek conveys the idea of continual asking. But that is not a command to ask repeatedly for the same thing in order to force God into action. The word here expresses ceaseless petitioning. In other words, you need never hesitate to ask for something just because you asked earlier for something else.
The message of this story is clear. You have a friend in your heavenly Father. He’s on your side and available any time and in any circumstance. Secondly, boldness is your privilege. Your assignment is to ask, His commitment is to give.
See you soon…