Persistence in Prayer

Lk 11:1-13


1. This parable is an answer to a question about prayer
a. "Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples" Lk 11:1

3. In Jesus answer we see three things:
a. First He told them "how" to pray and "what" to pray for
b. Second He told this parable about how to pray
c. Third He explained what the parable was designed to teach

4. The parable is commonly known as The Importunate friend
a. It is recorded in Lk 11:5-8
b. It's basic message is the importance of persistence
in prayer

The question about prayer:

A. Jesus had been praying - Lk 11:1
1. The gospels record many things about the prayer life of Jesus
a. Praying in the private - Lk 5:16
b. Rising early to pray - Mk 1:35
c. Praying all night - Lk 6:12-13
d. His prayer for unity - Jn 17
e. His prayer in the Garden - Mt 26:36-44
2. They ask Jesus to teach them to pray - Lk 11:1

Jesus prays for them the model prayer know as the Lord's Prayer:

   A. Also foun in His sermon on the mount - Mt 6:9-13     B. The Lord's prayer is an example for us to follow:       1. The words "in this manner" (Mt 6:9) suggest that "The Lord's          Prayer" is an example, not a liturgy to be recited       2. Here we begin to learn the "how" and "what" of prayer          a. "How" to pray  includes simplicity             1) The word "therefore" in Mt 6:9 connects what follows                with what was said before - cf. Mt 6:7-8             2) Jesus' pattern for prayer is a contrast to wordy prayers          b. We learn the "what" of prayer should include such things              as:             1) Reverence for God and His "Name" (i.e., His Being and                Character) - Lk 11:2             2) Praying for the progress of God's Kingdom and Will on                the earth - Lk 11:2             3) Asking for physical necessities - Lk 11:3             4) Also, our spiritual needs...                a) Forgiveness of sins as we forgive others- Lk 11:4                b) Protection and deliverance from evil and temptation - Lk 11:4      C.  In His sermon on the mount, Jesus chose to follow His pattern prayer         with an emphasis on forgiving others (Mt 6:14-15).  But on this          occasion, He has a different concern in mind.  
The parable of the Importunate Friend:
   A. The main points of the parable       1. You find yourself with company and inadequate provisions       2. You know you can go to your friend's house and borrow          some food       3. Even if it late at night, and...          a. He and his family are already in bed          b. He would normally not help you, even though you are a              friend          c. Yet you know that if you "persist", he will help you! - Lk             11:5-8     B. The purpose of the parable       1. Jesus is illustrating the importance of "persistence in          praying"       2. One does not know "how" to pray, then, unless they learn to be          persistent in prayer!    Jesus Explains the parable:
   A. Persistence is important - Lk 11:9-10       1. It is those who ask, seek, and knock, who will receive, find,          and have doors opened       2. The element of persistence is implied even in          a. The present tense of the verbs for "ask", "seek", and              "knock" (literally, "keep on asking", "keep on seeking",              and "keep on knocking"          b. The progressive relation between the words:             1) One normally starts out by "asking"             2) As they learn more, they begin "seeking"             3) As they arrive close to their destination, they start                "knocking"       3. Failure to persist in prayer, then, may be one reason some           prayers go unanswered!     B. God Loves you and wants the best for you - Lk 11:11-13       1. To encourage persistence in prayer, Jesus speaks of earthly          fathers and their sons          a. If a son asks his father for bread, while he give him a             stone?          b. If he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead?          c. If he asks for an egg, will the father offer him a             scorpion?       2. Then how much more will our heavenly Father gives us that          which is good?          a. If earthly fathers know how to give good gifts to              their children          b. How much more will our heavenly Father give the Spirit to             those who ask Him?          c. This reference to the Holy Spirit may relate to promise of             the Spirit             1) A promise made by Jesus on another occasion - Jn 7:37-39             2) A promise offered by Peter on the day of Pentecost - Ac                 2:38-39       3. Jesus' point seems to be this:          a. If persistence with a friend will prove fruitful (cf. the             parable)          b. If earthly fathers know how to give good gifts to their             children          d. How much more will persistence prove fruitful with our              heavenly Father!  Conclusion:
1. We may be able to word an eloquent prayer and to saying the right     things, but from this parable we learn that we do not know "how" to    pray until we have learned to pray persistently  2. Persistence in prayer is so important that Jesus taught another     parable with the very same theme, The Parable Of The Persistent    Widow - Lk 18:1-8  3. But for now, let's remember what we have learned from Jesus at "the    school of prayer"...    a. That we have a heavenly Father who knows how to give good gifts       to His children    b. That this should motivate us to ask, and to ask persistently!