Presentation on theme: "If I Could Ask Jesus One Question It Would Be ____________."— Presentation transcript:
If I Could Ask Jesus One Question It Would Be ____________.
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.
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. 3 What 4
Prayer is not only at the heart of the Christian life, it is also at the core of much frustration, misunderstanding, and even pain.
How do we pray? How does God answer prayer? Why does God sometimes seem to ignore my prayers?
Luke, more than any other Gospel writer, stresses the importance of prayer in Jesus' life (see 3:21, 5:16, 6:12, 9:18, 9:28, 10:21-22, 11:1, 22:39-46, 23:46).
Luke's version of Jesus' response - what we call the Lord's Prayer but, given the intended audience and use might be better named the Disciples' Prayer - is briefer and simpler than that found in Matthew.
Thoroughly Jewish in character - doxology followed by petition - Jesus invites us to address the Holy One of Israel as pater, "Father."
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, Dont bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I cant 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.
The temptation is to interpret Jesus' parable as indication that God needs cajoling, or at least that the hallmark of Christian prayer is persistence.
The Greek anaideia, however, is better translated "shamelessness" than "persistence," and so implies a boldness that comes from familiarity.
Note that the parable's breadless host asks only once, making bold to count on his neighbor's conformity to the duties of hospitality. He is in this sense "shameless."
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.
11 Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 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!
We tend to fixate on the mechanics of prayer: how, why, when. Jesus' instructions to his followers, however, focus on a different question: who.
It's important to recognize that Jesus seems more interested, at this point, in invitation than explanation.
Jesus is inviting listeners to relationship as opposed to instructing in methodology.
13 – How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. Prayer is not primarily about getting things from God but rather about the relationship we have with God.
Prayer is connection, connection exemplified by the swinging pendulum of speaking and listening between God, the world, and ourselves.
Anne Lamott writes in Traveling Mercies that our two best prayers are, "help me, help me, help me" and "thank you, thank you, thank you" (p. 82).
I think Jesus might agree, as there rests in Jesus' words to his disciples then and now an invitation, above all else, to honesty – the candor that comes from intimacy, and to relationship – conversation that builds trust.
PRAYER: Lord, teach us to pray. Teach us to worship. Teach us to love. Teach us to listen. Teach us to be honest and shameless.