Bible Reading: Luke 11:1-13
As we round off our Surge series today, I want to challenge you to pray! You see, the conversations of more will not merely happen based on the strivings, schemings and strategies of human wisdom- it will happen based on the intervention of heaven on the earth.
In our human strength, we can only go so far. We are needing of God!
The truth is it takes God strength and God’s grace and everything God to fulfil a God dream. If we are truly going to dream in God spaces and embrace a call to more that God invites us to, then we are going to need to rediscover in a new way a dependence on God in prayer.
We must change the narrative of prayer being some burdensome thing that some ‘super spiritual’ people do. Prayer must be rediscovered as a beautiful word in the Christian’s life! Prayer is what all Christians do! It is a great privilege that we get to call upon God.
Jesus taught his disciples to pray. The Bible is full of prayers and models and teachings on prayer.
Prayer is an alignment of the will and experience of man with God’s plan and purpose. We need that! We need God to work on our hearts every day, to give us His perspective and lead us in His pathways.
We will become selfish in our desires if we aren’t praying. We will become complacent if we aren’t allowing the Holy Spirit to propel us.
I hope that today you will resolve in a fresh way to be established and strengthened in a life and walk of prayer. We must pray!
Maybe you have questions like ‘how about when I don’t feel like praying?’ Or ‘I’m not quite the prayerful type’
Prayer should ultimately be a delight for the Christian, but it is okay to start as a discipline. The delight will kick in. And it’s okay when you walk through seasons where it shuttles between delight and discipline. How you feel about praying is not in any way as important as whether you pray or not. Structure a discipline that you don’t ever fall below; list out a prayer list, set a prayer time and place, and if need be, set up prayer accountability- do the discipline. And then leave the delight to catch up. Have you ever met anyone graduating from a school that told you that school was entirely a journey of delights? Maybe Albert Einstein. For most of us, it was a constant shuttling between delight and discipline. What matters most is that we carried on with the school things, not how we felt about the school things in the moments.
Here are two things to look
Start From Where You Are
One of the beautiful things about prayer is that we’re praying to a Father who loves us. We are striving to please Him, not impress Him. It’s okay to start from where you are. In prayer, authenticity and sincerity weigh more than proficiency. God doesn’t scout the earth for the prayers of prayer warriors. He scouts the earth for the prayers of His children. He’s a father that knows where His children are and it’s fine to build a prayer journey that is true to where you are and challenging yourself for more. It’s okay to start a discipline with fifteen consistent minutes every morning, and then stretch that more and more as the seasons unfold. If where you are is a lot further down the line, be true to where you are and challenge yourself to more.
Expand Your Prayer Vision
You see, God’s priority in prayer is not to change our circumstances, it’s to change us- to change our perspective, to change our character, and then ultimately, to change our situations. Make sure that you’re allowing prayer to expand your perspective. Allow the Holy Spirit inspire your audacity to pray ‘God-sized prayers’!
In our reading today, Jesus starts by teaching his disciples to ask for their one ‘daily bread’ (v 3). It is totally fine by God for us to pray survival and appetite prayers. It’s a good place to start.
But straight on, Jesus starts to challenge his disciples to expand their prayer vision. He narrates how this man starts to become persistent and audacious asking for ‘three loaves’ and it’s no longer about his own hunger, it’s about his friends who are in the dark (v 5)
We must constantly be allowing the Holy Spirit to give us audacity and a wider heart to pray for more than just our appetite. There are friends in the dark trying to figure out their journey, nations in the dark, a generation in the dark, workplaces in the dark, systems and sectors in the dark, and so on.
So hear how Jesus concludes the story. Remember we started asking for our single daily bread, then moved on to persistently asking for three loaves. Now hear what Jesus says:
I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything just because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence and boldness he will get up and give him whatever he needs. Luke 11:8 AMP
This guy ends up with a blank cheque from God!
May it be said of you when the story of your life is told that you were a mighty person of prayer!
Welcome to the more!