Perseverance in Prayer /Ever-Persevering Petitions/Making the Request (Luke 11:1-13)
Study Date: Feb 23, 2020
MEMORY SELECTION: “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”(Luke 11:9)
GUIDING PRINCIPLE: “We must place our trust in God’s character and His love for us, knowing that everything we need is in Him. Therefore, we can come boldly to the throne of grace and be persistent in our prayer. (Hebrews 11:6)
RESOURCES FOR THE SEED:
Zephaniah 1:14-18; Amos5:1-24; Genesis 1: 4-9; Hosea 2:14-23
DISCOVER: The meaning of Jesus’ exhortation to ask, seek, and knock.
DESIRE: God to give the Holy Spirit the greatest possible gift.
DEDICATE: Ourselves to praying daily as a vital aspect of our lives.
BREAKING UP FALLOW GROUND
- How often do you actually bring your needs to God?
- How do you view God, and how does it affect how you approach God in prayer?
- Does asking, seeking and Knocking give us a blank check to ask God for whatever we want? Does its obligate God to give it to us?
- How are we persistent in prayers on behalf of others?
- Why should we approach God as a trustworthy Father?
- Why does Jesus end this discourse on being persistent in prayer (ask, seek, knock) with God’s good gift of the Holy Spirit??
- Is it ever appropriate to ask God to meet our wants and desires, or are we only to ask about our physical needs?
INTRODUCTION. The Scriptures reveal how important prayer was to Jesus’ earthly existence. Time alone with His Father reflected His pre-incarnate existence, and Jesus’ prayer showed His total dependence on His Father (John 5:19, 30). The outcome of His prayer life was marked with unexplainable wisdom and power (Luke 4:18, Acts 10:38). Jesus’ disciples asked that He teach them to pray as John the Baptist taught his disciples. (Luke 11:1–4
1. The Picture of Perseverance (Luke 11:5-8) Jesus uses an illustration to underscore His point in teaching on God as Father:
Jesus asks His listeners suppose a friend comes by at an inconvenient hour to ask for a favor. At the heart of this is the issue of hospitality. Hospitality was an important custom because it speaks of the love modeled by God toward His people. Jesus’ parable presents quite a problem for the listeners. A friend who has a visitor of his own is unprepared to show hospitality and so requests help for his situation. However, when he knocks on his neighbor’s door, the person approached does not open the door. Instead, he sends his friend away, saying that he and his family have retired to bed. What Jesus makes apparent is that the untimely visitor kept knocking on the door to receive a response. It is also important to note that the man was not asking for himself. He was asking in order to help someone else. Jesus ends the parable with the words, “I say to you” meaning that Jesus is about to tell the point of the parable. Despite the friendship of the two men, the door was answered—not out of an obligation as a friend—but because of the person’s persistence, his relentless pursuit of a resolution to his situation. His perseverance led to his receiving what he asked for.
2. The Results of Perseverance (vv. 9–10): Jesus then clarifies the focal point of His teaching. He instructs His audience to keep pursuing God by asking, seeking and knocking.
To ask is more than just politely making a request. Jesus is telling us to earnestly beg the Lord for what we need. Second, we are to seek God. This implies looking with the expectation of finding a solution to our situation. Finally, we are to knock. Knocking cannot be done from across the street or in the next suburb! Knocking requires that you go directly to the person’s door. Our knocking then means stepping into the presence of the Lord so that our request can be made known. Notice that as we ask, seek, and knock, we are getting closer in a relationship with the person we are asking to help. So, it is with God. Jesus always placed emphasis on going after God and pursuing fellowship with Him. Everything needed in life is found in Him (Matthew 6:33). The outcome of such a prayer life is to live in the will of the Father who always gives us what is best for us because that accomplishes His purpose in us. As a result of an ongoing pursuit of God through prayer, believers have what they need (Psalm 37:3–5, Matthew 6:6, 25–26).
3. The Response to Perseverance (vv. 11–13) Jesus shared another relatable illustration with His disciples to show the goodness of God and His response to the one who pursues God.
Jesus said that if human fathers provide for their children and take the time to listen, then believers should expect that their heavenly Father will do the same. God’s response to our pursuit of Him in prayer is that He will give us His Holy Spirit who is our unlimited power supply. The Holy Spirit is not given to us for selfish pursuit or gain, but to keep us connected to the Father and to trust His purpose. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give and be gracious to us (Psalm 84:11, Luke 12:32, James 1:17).
PLANTING THE SEED:
- Do you pray in isolation, with little consideration of how your prayer will affect others?
- Do you expect God to answer your prayer in a particular time frame?
- Are you reluctant to pray the same prayers on many occasions?
- Do you feel your repeated prayers in some way” bother” God?
- What value is there in your praying even when your request is not answered? Do you find it easy to stop praying when an answer does not come?
- Do you think of God as a loving parent rather than a harsh judge?
- How does our assumptions or misassumptions about God affect our prayer life?
- Do you believe the more you pray the greater the possibility of God answering?
“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.”
FRUIT FROM THE SEED: Jesus revealed the very heart and nature of God. That nature is loving and merciful. The spiritual ear of God is open to all who call upon him, even with faith as a grain of mustard seed. This parable offers hope to all that we are never alone, never abandoned, and never forgotten.