How Jesus motivates us to pray

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Speaker: 
Andrew Fountain
Date: 
Sun, 2018-08-05

Sermon Outline - How Jesus motivates us to pray

Goal

To build on last week’s teaching on prayer so that we are:

  • More motivated to pray
  • More effective in our prayers

Outline

  • Summary of last week’s teaching                
  1. What motivates and demotivates us
  2. Exposition of Luke 11:1–13 (Jesus’ teaching on prayer)
  3. How this can motivate us

Last Week

  1. Background conversation with God, always conscious of his presence
  2. Short prayers (requests or thanks) linked to events during the day
    • e.g. giving thanks for meals
    • or intense (Nehemiah), a conversation or an issue arises
  3. Regular daily prayer times
    • e.g. the “Lord’s Prayer”, P.R.A.Y.E.R.
  4. Special intense prayer, focused on an issue
    • e.g. Mom diagnosed with cancer (prayer was answered)

Prayer Acronym

  • P – Praise
    R – Repentance
    A – Asking for:
    Y –   Yourself
    E –   Everyone else
    R – Rejoicing

1. What motivates and demotivates us

Demotivators:

  • Nothing seems to happen
  • We don’t feel listened to
  • Confusion/unanswered questions

Motivators

  • Personal answers
  • Stories of answers
  • Explanation/understanding when no answer
  • Habits and routine
  • I want to get into this in the next sermon

No food for breakfast

No food for breakfast

Image source: answers-to-prayer.com

George Müller

2. Exp of Luke 11:1–13 (Jesus’ teaching on prayer)

Luke 11:1–13

  1. Now Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he stopped, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
  2. So he said to them, “When you pray, say:
    Father, honoured be your name;
    may your kingdom come.
  3. Give us each day our daily bread,
  4. and forgive us our sins,
    for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
    And do not lead us into temptation.”

Luke 11:1–13 cont’d

  1. Then he said to them, “Would any of you have a friend whom you went to at midnight and said, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
  2. because a friend of mine has stopped here while on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him.’
  3. Who would reply from inside, ‘Do not bother me. The door is already shut, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything.’
  4. I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything out of friendship, yet the very boldness of the request will make him get up and give him all he needs.

Text at 12:27am

Hey Andrew, I sort of remember that you might have a fancy machine that can jump start cars.

One of the boys seems to have left the interior light on in my car, and now it won’t start.

So I was wondering if I might borrow your machine...

Quote from Klyne Snodgrass Stories with Intent p.448f.

  • Is God of such a character that he responds to prayers?
  • The parable answers, “Of course!” Well beyond what a human might do, God will respond.
  • Jesus’ conviction is that God is
    • a God who eagerly hears the prayers of his people,
    • is biased in their favour,
    • and can be trusted to respond.
  • The parable... is an invitation to pray...
  • Surely if you would ask for and expect help from a neighbour, how much more should you seek and expect the help of God?

Last Week

  1. Background conversation with God, always conscious of his presence
  2. Short prayers (requests or thanks) linked to events during the day
  3. Regular daily prayer times
  4. Special intense prayer, focused on an issue

3. How this can motivate us

Luke 11:1–13 cont’d

  1. “So I tell you: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.
  2. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
  3. What father among you, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish?
  4. Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
  5. If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give...

Luke 11:1–13 cont’d

  1. If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give
    the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Jesus often prayed at night

  • Matthew 14:
  1. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone...
  2. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.
  • And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
  • In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.
    And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles (Luke 6:12–13)
  • Mathew 26: Gethsemane

Future Questions

  • Does prayer actually change anything if God knows everything in advance?
  • Should I keep praying persistently?
  • So if I am to persist, what do I say—keep repeating the same words?
  • What about prayers that are not answered?
  • What about praying in groups?
  • Being specific in our prayers

Challenge for this week

  1. Pray about something small right now!
  2. Write down a list of 5–10 big prayers
    Try to pray about them every day, but don’t try to put pressure on God
    If one is answered, you can add another to replace it, but keep a record of the one answered
    Be patient, but don’t give up

Updated on 2018-08-05 by Andrew Fountain