Date: July 7, 2019 ()

Bible Text: Luke 11:1-13 |


Teach Us to Pray

“Christ’s praying fired the disciples with desire to pray like Him. Do our prayers move anyone to taste the devotion and joy which breathe through them?” (Alexander Maclaren)

  • The plan for prayer
    • Should be something that is done often and early.  The average Christian runs to prayer when they are in a critical state.  Prayer should be planned and purposeful in a Christian’s life..
    • Have a plan for your prayer life
      • The ACTS plan
        • Adoration
        • Confession
        • Thanksgiving
        • Supplication
      • The Model Payer plan
        • Adoration
        • God's will
        • Confession
        • Surrender of personal will
    • Have purpose in your prayer life
    • Have a place for your prayer life (habits)
  • The person of prayer
    • The person for help in our prayer
    • The power available in our prayers
      • An example
      • A door open
  • The persistence in prayer
    • Pray humbly
    • Pray with intensity (Philippians 4:13)
    • Pray with certainty

Prayers Can’t Be Answered Unless They are Prayed

By Helen Steiner Rice

Life without purpose is barren indeed
There can't be a harvest unless you plant the seed.
There can't be attainment unless there's a goal,
And a man's but a robot unless there's a soul.
If we send no ships out, no ships will come in,
And unless there's a contest, nobody can win.
For games can't be won unless they are played
And prayers can't be answered unless they are prayed.
So whatever is wrong with your life today,
You'll find a solution if you kneel down and pray.
Not just for pleasure, enjoyment and health,
Not just for honors, prestige or wealth,
But pray for a purpose to make life worth living,
And pray for the joy of unselfish giving,
For great is your gladness and rich your reward
When you make your life's purpose the choice of the Lord.


Luke chapter 11, and if you want to, you can turn to Matthew 6 also. We will be reading the main section of Luke chapter 11 and then we will reference some in Matthew six and Matthew seven. Helen Steiner Rice wrote a poem entitled 'Prayers Can't Be Answered Unless They Are Prayed' and I am going to read a section of it. She starts out saying, life without purpose is barren indeed, there can't be a harvest unless you plant the seed. Then later she says, if we send no ships out, no ships will come in. And unless there is a contest nobody can win. For games can't be won unless they are played. And prayers can't be answered unless they are prayed. So whatever is wrong with your life today, you'll find a solution. If you kneel down and pray. We have been talking about prayer and specifically looking at the life of Christ through the Gospels and considering the prayers of Christ and considering his teaching on prayer.

In Luke chapter 11, is one of these passages where we see Christ, not praying necessarily, but he's teaching on prayer. So Luke chapter 11:1 it says, "And it came to pass, that, as he was praying (so the he was, is who--it is Jesus.) And it came to pass, that as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said to them, When you pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. And then he goes into a couple of explanations and verse five and then he goes down in verse nine and he continues all the way down through verse 13 so the passage we are going to look at is verses 1 through 13.

In Matthew chapter six, I thought that this is interesting. In Matthew chapter six you see very similar phrasing. You will notice, in Matthew 6:9, Jesus is teaching on prayer and this is what he says, "After this manner therefore pray ye:" and he says, "Our Father, which art in heaven,..." And he goes all the way through teaching on that. And then, in Matthew chapter seven you will see in Luke chapter 11:9 it says, "And I say unto you, Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. You'll see in Matthew 7:7, it says, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." And then he gives the illustration that is also found at the end of Luke chapter 11. Now, some folks, and this is kind of just as introduction, some folks think that Matthew chapter six and seven and Luke chapter 11 are the same incident. I don't believe so. You can disagree with me, but I believe it is separate occurrences. I believe that Matthew chapter five, six, and seven are what is known as the Sermon on the Mount. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus was up there in the Galilee area. And I believe actually in Luke chapter 11, it is a Galilee area also, but I believe it is a separate occurrence. And so you have the Sermon on the Mount. I believe that Luke chapter 11, some that agree with kind of what I have attached to, and I am telling you is that there is a Sermon on the Mount, that is Matthew five, six and seven. And Luke chapter 11, is what they call the Sermon on the Plane. It is a different instance. But what is interesting to me is that Christ, in the passage in Matthew chapter six gives a 'model prayer' and then he talks about asking and seeking and knocking. And then in Luke chapter 11, when the disciples are with Christ and he is praying and they come to Christ, he does the model prayer again. And what do we say about Christ? He is the one of the great teachers. And what do you know about teaching? REPETITION? Repetition is very important. So Christ I believe is repeating this because he wants us to be people of prayer. And he wants us to understand how important prayer is. Alexander Maclaren says this, "Christ praying fired the disciples with desire to pray like him." He continued this thought and this is what he said, "do our prayers, move anyone to taste the devotion and joy which breathe through them."

And that is kind of how we start this morning. Here are the disciples and they are sitting around Jesus. Jesus is praying and the disciples see Jesus praying and they are saying to themselves, we have got to learn how to pray like that. I wonder in our homes, do you pray enough or is it very evident of what prayer accomplishes in your home that your children, your young people are saying, I have got to learn about this prayer thing? Or are they just like, I don't know, it is just a ritual. It is just ho-hum as far as prayer. I pray that this morning as we come to this text that it would be our desire to say, Lord, teach us to pray. Heavenly father, I pray that you would bless this morning and I pray that you would give clarity, wisdom, guidance as we look at this text in Luke chapter 11. I pray as always Lord, that you would do that, which I can't. Then to speak to hearts, we ask and claim your power in Jesus name. Amen.

We have three points here this morning and the first point is a really long, but I am going to shrink it. It is really long, and a teaching message that I do it I think in growing in grace, but I am going to shorten it. Okay. So my first point is just the plan for prayer. You see in this passage, it came to pass that he ceased praying in verse one, and then they come up and say, teach us to pray. Right in verse two, three, and four what does Christ do? He teaches them how to pray. So first, if you are going to learn how to pray, have a plan for prayer. And so I want to give you two ideas. The first one, and I've used this before and I did not come up with this acronym. The first idea of prayer is an acronym that some people use. In fact, I use this myself in my own prayer life is A. C. T. S. Okay? A. C. T. S. It is the book of ACTS. So some people, when they pray, it helps organize their thoughts. And so you need to have a plan when you come to your prayer life. So the ACTS, let me give you the four words that go with it. All right? So, A is adoration, C is confession, T is thanksgiving, and S is supplication. All right? Now the S, the supplication is what all of you think of as prayer. It's Lord, give me this. You better get over here and do this. It is basically you giving God a to do list, okay? That is kind of the supplication, but actually, in studying prayer in the Bible, the A. C. T. are all part of prayer.

So what is adoration? Adoration is coming before God and praising him. It is coming before God before you start into your to do list. It is stopping and saying before anything, God, I praise you that you are God. I praise you, that you have saved me, that you have, that you found it in yourself to send Jesus Christ to save my soul. You are God. You are awesome. You are wonderful. You can even, I have a book that sits by my devotional area and it's called 'The Names of God.' And so sometimes in this 'A' area in the adoration, I'll just take a name of God, the name Elohim, or I will take the Jehovah names, Jehovah Gyra. There is Jehovah Rapha. There's all kinds of Jehovah names. And I think about just the name of God and, and just how wonderful God is. That's adoration. That should be part of our prayer life.

The second thing is confession. You know, we find that in the life of David, the confession. You find that David in Psalm 32 said, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah." And this is what David says, he says, "I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid..." One of the things that we should do after we adore our God is confess your sins. And that should be done daily--daily. And you say, well, you know what, I confessed, I came before God when I was saved. And I came to him, but yesterday and probably even this morning you sinned. You know what you need to have. You need to have a clean slate every day before God? God knows you sin, but you need to come to God, and as you come to God confessing, you know what God will also do. He will bring to mind, other things.

Sometimes I like moving on to the thanksgiving. I am like, all right, God, I think I am done and I want to thank you for different things. But God is says, no, let's go back to that confession time not to the thanksgiving time. All right, and God brings to mind some other things that I was not really thinking of confessing, but God's like, no, no, no. You did that yesterday. Like, well, God, that was not what we were talking about. We want to go to the thanksgiving part here and you know you are taking a little extra time here with confession, but you know that is what God can do if you open up your heart to him. And most of us understand this when we are out working and you know, we are crudy and we are dirty, then we come inside and we clean up. When you do that in your prayer life, it is just a clean feeling. There is nothing like it, and only God can do that. Nobody else can do that. That is why in the Bible I confess my sins to God. I do not go to a priest, I do not go to somebody else. I go to God. That is the wonder of prayer.

So in the plan for prayer, I have adoration, I have confession, and then thanksgiving. I think we know what thanksgiving is. Thanksgiving is stopping to thank God for what he did and not just in salvation, but what did God do for you yesterday? Thank Him for it. We always talk to our kids as parents when they are little, we are teaching them to say thank you when somebody gives them something. You are like, no, no, no, they gave you a candy bar. What do you say? So what did God give you yesterday and what didn't you say. Say thank you. So we need to pause and thank God.

And then we come to supplication and there is a whole idea that you can go into in building up that idea of supplication. There needs to be a plan. So I am throwing out two ideas. Have a plan for your prayer life. A.C.T.S. I have used that for years now, and I thought I would share it. I did no come up with that acronym but I think it helps you in organizing your prayer. Christ kind of did that same thing, it is a model prayer. There are some people that like to recite this prayer. I do not think that is what Christ was meaning by it. All right. What I believe is He was showing you different aspects of prayer. And you will notice that some of the things that I just said, you can just follow right along with the model prayer. Notice what he says, "Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." What is that? That is adoration. So right away he says, when you start to pray, have some adoration, have some praise, some adoring of the God that you are coming to. Then notice what he says, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done as in heaven, so in earth." So I am asking God's will to be done in heaven and in Earth. Then it says, "Give us day by day our daily bread." So I am coming to God and saying, God, take care of my needs today. "And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us." So what is that? That's confession, isn't it? I'm confessing and then it says, "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." That is kind of a supplication. It's asking God to help me. I'm surrendering my will to Him and saying, God, help me to watch out for sin today. So there you have a model prayer.

So there are two ideas for the plan. Have a plan for your prayer life, but then also have a purpose in your prayer life. So under the idea of having a plan, have a plan for your prayer life. (And those are some examples, A.C.T.S. or just take the model prayer), but have a purpose for your prayer life and have a place for your prayer life. All right, what do I mean by a place? There should be a place that you go to where you are getting alone with God. It should not just be random all the time. There should be, it should be a habit that you are setting up. It should be a specific time and some people do it morning and night. But if you are not doing anything, then my recommendation is start in the morning. Start in the morning and have a time of prayer. Have a place that you go to and all your stuff is there and you have sheets there and you are recording different things. So how do you know if God answered a prayer? How do you know? Like, Oh, you know what? It's just there. You do not know because you do not have a plan. You are not writing anything down, and so you are like, oh, I don't know. And I do not know if God answered a prayer and the devil uses that in your life to say God's not listening to you. But when I write it down and I say, God, I prayed for this and He answered it, get away from me devil. Oh, my house, you ain't allowed here cause guess what? You are a liar, He answered that prayer, get away from me. You see when I write some of those things down and that is in my place of prayer, I am able to record some of those things. And that encourages me, and so have a plan for your prayer life.

The second thing I noticed is down in verse five it starts up, and I call this the privilege of prayer. Notice what it says in verse five, "And he said to them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;" So why is he doing that? Verse six, "For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him." So I see two things in this story that Christ gives in the privilege of prayer. The first thing is the person for help. You say, well, wait a minute. So it is kind of a middleman. Did you notice, as I was reading it and rereading it, sometimes you kind of interpret the story yourself. So in my mind I was thinking that somebody is traveling through and he needs food and so he stops, knows this guy knocked on the door. That is not the story. What it is is there is a guy and he has a home. Another another guy is traveling through, comes to his house, gets inside, and the guy that he is staying with realizes he does not have any food, not the friend that is traveling, but the guy that he is staying with. So the guy that he is staying with goes to somebody else. So in essence, this man right here, this guy's house is the middleman, isn't it? The guy over here that he is going to is somebody else that can meet the need.

And you know who I thought of? It reminds me of Christ, because Christ is our mediator between God and man. Where do I see that? Well, let me read you a couple of passages. You can mark them down or you can turn there if you want, but I have them premarked, so I am going to be moving fast. Luke chapter 22 and verse 31 and 32 says, "And then the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold Satan, hath desire to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee,..." Luke 23:33 says this, "And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then Jesus said Jesus, father, forgive them; for they know not what they do..." So Jesus was praying for others. John 14:6 says this, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:13-14, "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it." Verse 16 basically says the same thing. Romans chapter 5:1-2, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Later in the Bible, in I Timothy 2:5, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." So the person, the privilege that we have in prayer and Jesus gives us the story of a friend coming, staying at this house. This house needs some food. And so this man goes to another house, knocked on his door and he says, Hey, I have a need. And it was not a need for himself. It was a need for somebody that came into his house. It just reminded me of Christ. I come into Christ house because what am I, I am his son now. All right. Actually, I am a kinsmen to Jesus Christ. I am a brother in some sense to Jesus Christ. I am now adopted into God's family. And I come to Jesus because through his name it says we have access to the Father. So I can come to Jesus and I can say, I have a need. And Jesus goes to the Father for me, and he has direct access. Think about the privilege of prayer. But then I also not only see the person for help in our prayer, but I see the power available.

Notice back in our text in Luke chapter 11 he says, "And he from within (so here is a guy knocking) and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth." So that word importunity is an interesting word. Okay. A lot of times we associate that word importunity with persistence and it can be. But when you look up that word, importunity it literally means shame or shamelessness. It can also mean impudence. So there are two ways to look at this idea of importunity. All right. One is a Middle Eastern custom, and so we will talk about that second. The first is dealing with the guy that is coming up to the house and basically unashamedly with impudence, he is there and he is knocking, and knocking. And the guy says go away, go away. Or now with the doorbell and maybe you got one of those fancy ones and it is like Ding, Ding-Ding-Ding, Ding ,Ding-Ding-Ding. And it is, and they are, and you are kind of being neat, made this long like one minute song. I'm your doorbell ringer, and so finally it gets done. Alright, whatever song it is, and they hit it again. One minute later, 'get away from my door.' And especially with ring now, you got your phone up there. I see you. I see you. It is late. Get away from my door. Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring. All right, so on one side you see the impudence or the shamelessness of this person coming up to the door. And that is the power of prayer.

So that is on one side. You see that the one side in the area of the power of prayer. What does the man that owns the house that has the food do? What does he do? Finally he gets up. Now remember who is telling the story. Who is telling the story? Christ is, and he is telling it in relation to prayer. So what is he telling you and I? He is telling you and I that we have the ability to get God out of bed, move Him. So I understand the theologians have had fun and argued this for centuries, not just decades, centuries. So can man move God? I don't know but Christ said he can. Christ said, you just keep knocking and keep knocking and ring the door bell. Ring it again, ring it again, and ring it again. Be Shameless, be shameless in coming before God.

So that is one side of it. You can kind of interpret it that way. The other side is the shame that could be on the homeowner. You say, wait a minute. That is kind of a Middle Eastern custom. So most of us, because we live in America and especially as America has become a much more distant as far as neighborhoods. We might not understand it, but Middle Eastern custom, you go to the Old Testament, the book of Genesis established this for Middle Eastern people hospitality was very high. It is not for us, because basically if you see somebody outside, maybe you do this. I know we have folks that come in off our buses and maybe you have done this to one of the workers. They are walking up to the door and the blinds close. What, wait a minute, you are supposed to be hospitable. You are like, I ain't being hospitable it is 10:00 AM on Saturday. I am rolling over at that time. Get off my door now. But Middle Eastern people, hospitality was a very, very high custom and it was, it was basically looked upon as very rude if you did not treat somebody with hospitality. For instance, the story of the Good Samaritan. Remember the story of the Good Samaritan? You say, why in the world would some guy that is traveling down a road and he sees somebody beat up, stop? I mean, in America you would just keep going. Or say I bet you he was shot. Or video it kids, video it, we will put it up on youtube later. All right, that is kind of us today. But no, no, no, not in the Middle East. Middle Eastern custom was you are hospitable. If somebody came to your house, you would go out.

Remember in the Old Testament, it kind of seems silly. Here were these angels that come in to visit Abraham and he says, hey, you know what, just wait right there while I go kill a couple of calves. I am like, what in the world. Do you know you have to gut those things. You have to dress those things. Like, hey, you know what? Just give me a couple hours. I will throw a feast down. I mean, think about that. Al lright I am going to cook you a roast up or a little brisket for you. All right, so hours later but that is what you did as far as the custom. So on one side you have the guy on the outside importunity that shamelessness, but on the inside there is a thought there too. And that is that the person that owns the house that is in bed, he is saying, you know what, I am not going to be shamed by not meeting the needs of this man. And that also applies to us because who are we going to? God and our God has a name that He will uphold. His name is righteous and good and giving and loving and what he wants for his children is for you to be able to testify to others of how good God takes care of you. He will not be shamed. He will not be talked about as somebody that does not take care of his children. And later in the passage it even says that, if you that are wicked know how to be a good father. How much more does your heavenly father know how to give good gifts. It kind of applies. And so on both sides we see the privilege of prayer.

So then lastly, let me give you the last point and that is found in verse 9-13 notice what it says. And it is interesting because he repeats it. He says, "...Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." All right, I'm getting it. Ask, seek, knock. But Christ is like, I don't think you got it. Let's go to verse 10, "For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." He is like, I do not think you have got it. So you are going to ask, you are going to seek, and you are going to knock. Now let me tell you, this is how you do it. So when you ask, you receive, when you seek, you get it and when you knock the doors open. Like didn't you just say that? I think he is trying to reiterate to us that there needs to be persistence in prayer. I thought about this in our crowd. All right? And you do not have to answer, but I thought about this with our crowd. How many of you have prayed for something over five years and then God answered it, anybody. All right, I see a few hands over five years and God answered it. All right, so let me ask you this. How many of you have been praying for something over five years and God has not answered it? All right, because guess what God is saying. You keep asking and you keep seeking and you keep knocking. That is the persistence that he is trying to get across to us.

Now I thought of a couple of points and it kind of comes through the words here. One is in the persistence of prayer, pray humbly. There is an idea that kind of comes when we are saying asking and seeking and knocking that you can kind of just rudely bust in. But it is interesting that in the building of the words, remember that New Testament is written in Greek and so in the building of the words it tells us to pray humbly. How is that? Well, when Christ talks of himself coming to the father, he used a different word for asking. He used a different word, it is not the same word. When Jesus talks about himself coming to the father, he uses a word that is basically on the same plane. But what Christ used in this passage, when he says ask or he that asketh it is an inferior coming to a superior. So we come still humbly. We also find that in the word knock. Okay? So it says knock and it shall be opened unto you. And to him that knocketh it shall be opened. One of the guys that studies, again the words behind it, there are two different words that someone could use for knocking on the door. One was an unceremonious pounding. I mean, you are just beating the snot out of that door. That is not what Jesus used here. What he used, it indicates a polite knocking. So when I am coming to God, yes, you know I can be shameless in coming. But guess what? When I pray, I am always remembering, it is God. I am stepping into his presence. And when you have that attitude, God is listening to you. When you come with arrogance, when you come with your pride, when you come, you know what strutting your stuff. Who are you? So I come asking and seeking and knocking humbly.

But then I pray with intensity. Now notice the idea it says in our passage here it says, ask, seek and knock. And then for everyone that asketh receiveth, he that seeketh findeth, him that knocketh it shall be open. It gives me the idea of James chapter five. All right, if you do not know where that is, it is at the end of the New Testament. But in James 5:16, it says, "Confess your faults one to another, pray one for another. That you may be healed. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." So in essence, this is what God is saying. He is saying the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man gets things done. So that word effectual fervent is together again in the Greek effectual fervent. You know what? We get a word from it in English--energy. So the word energy, you know what it is saying? Have a little intensity when you pray.

All right? I understand that your morning prayer time, you may be tired, snoozing. Wow. Okay. O Lord, bless our time lemonade....I like to drink sometimes ...., Lord I thank you....yes, revival.....that is what we need...... That does not seem like a lot of intensity does it? I mean it is you are intensely into your sleep, but there needs to be a little passion in your prayer. So figure that goes back into the plan, doesn't it? You have a place and there are some times that maybe you will find that walking does better. I know one pastor friend that I have, he has a place near his house that he drives to and he walks and he circles and he goes through his plan of prayer. Guess what? That may work for you. All right? If you are finding yourself asleep, basically every time you pray, I would say you need to come up with a better plan and you need to have some intensity in your prayer.

The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. A prayer that has energy, intensity. That is what God is looking for. Do you have some energy in your prayer? Now what is interesting is you know that effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth. That effectual fervent, that phrase is found in Philippians 4:13, guess what? "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens with me. "That same word effectual, fervent is found in 'can do'. And you know we talk about it, I bought it in America. I need a can do attitude. Guess what can do is telling us, that there is energy in doing. I can, I can accomplish something through Christ. And in the same way I can accomplish something through prayer when it has a little bit of energy into it. Intensity. So in the persistence in prayer, pray humbly, pray with intensity.

And then lastly, pray with certainty. And what does it say, to him that knocketh it shall be opened. So what does it tell you about that persistence? It also tells you a little bit about the power of prayer because if you are knocking on the door, (I am telling you, we are all brilliant here on this Sunday morning,) if I am knocking on the door, that means it is closed. Look at the brilliance. I thought of that all by myself. Yep. Sitting there like, yeah, the door is closed! If I am knocking on the door, obviously it is closed. But what does it tell you about the power of prayer and the persistence? What does God say that door will do? Open, it will open, but it is not going to open if you do not have some intensity. It is not going to open if there is not some certainty. There needs to be some faith and belief in our God. And that goes back again to maybe writing down some things. I ask you, so this past week, did you see God answer a prayer or do you not even know?

Do you know you can tap into God. He is omnipotent and what does that mean? That means he is all powerful. There is nothing God cannot do. Nothing is impossible. We sing all these songs, but yet in our prayer life, we are not stepping into God's presence. You are avoiding it. Peter Marshall was once a chaplain of the U.S. Senate and he said this, "Lord, forgive us for thinking that prayer is a waste of time and help us to see that without prayer, our work is a waste of time." Many years ago during the Civil War there was a pastor that came and he traveled to Washington DC from New York. This pastor lived in New York and his congregation asked him if he would travel down to see President Lincoln. He got an audience with President Lincoln and he stepped into his presence and this is what the pastor said. He said, I have not come to ask any favors of you, Mr President. I have only come to say that the loyal people of New York are sustaining you and will continue to do so. We are giving you all that we have the lives of our sons as well as our confidence in our prayers. You must know that every boy's father, every boy's mother, whenever they knell in prayer that they are asking God to give you strength and wisdom. President Lincoln started tearing up and he looked at that pastor and he said, but for those prayers I should have faltered and perhaps fell long ago. Tell every father and mother, you know, to keep on praying. And as the pastor started to leave, President Lincoln reached out and took his hand and said, well, it is a custom in the area I grew up, when a pastor would come, at many times the home would ask the pastor to say a prayer and I take it, this is a pastors visit, so would you pray with me? And both the president and the pastor got on their knees and they begged God for wisdom.

Lord, teach us to pray. I pray that it is true as you have seen in the life of Christ. Christ was about prayer. He thought it very important. And here you see in Luke chapter 11 and I believe in Matthew chapter six and seven, it is two different occurrences. Two different times that he almost says the exact same thing. Here is a model prayer and ask and seek and knock, and the verbiage of ask and seek and knock is in the present. And what that means is keep on asking. It is never complete. Keep on asking, keep on knocking. Keep on seeking. Why? Because God loves to answer prayer. God help us to be people of prayer.


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