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Teach Us to Pray Big

In the Sermon on the Mountain Jesus challenged His audience about the hazards of worry.
Matthew 6:31-32
What will we eat? What will we wear? Where will we sleep? This is what the Gentiles do. They spend their time worrying about the material things, about the minor things of life.
“You can spend our time chasing after minor things, but people who don’t believe in God do that.
True believers in God look beyond the basic challenges of life and see God. True seekers of God are to seek first the King of God, and all the physical things of life shall be added to life. (Matthew 6:33)
Think about your prayers recently, did you pray BIG or did you pray small?
Did you pray more in ling with food, drink and clothes (verse 31, the smaller picture)? Or, more in line with verse 33, the bigger picture?

 

Lord, Teach us to Pray

Luke 11:1-10

Introduction:

    1. In the Sermon on the Mountain Jesus challenged His audience about the hazards of worry.  
      1. Matthew 6:31-32
        1. What will we eat?  What will we wear?  Where will we sleep?  This is what the Gentiles do.  They spend their time worrying about the material things, about the minor things of life. 
        2. “You can spend our time chasing after minor things, but people who don’t believe in God do that.
      2. True believers in God look beyond the basic challenges of life and see God.  True seekers of God are to seek first the King of God, and all the physical things of life shall be added to life.  (Matthew 6:33)
    2. Think about your prayers recently, did you pray BIG or did you pray small?
      1. Did you pray more in ling with food, drink and clothes (verse 31, the smaller picture)?  Or, more in line with verse 33, the bigger picture?
    3. Truthfully, a lot of the things we regularly pray for tend to work themselves out – we still should pray for those things without ceasing.  (Matthew 6:11 teaches us that principle.)
      1. Help me get over this cold
      2. Help me pass this test
      3. Help me lose this weight
    4. Do you ever wonder if God says, “Isn’t there something BIGGER you need from me?”
      1. Our God is an Awesome God!
      2. How Great Thou Art
      3. Creator of Heaven and Earth
      4. Surely He can do more than what we ask for!
      5. When was the last time your prayers stretched your faith?
        1. When was the last time we prayed for something that was beyond our ability to work it out on our own?
        2. While God is not a Santa Claus nor is prayer to be used like a JC Penny Wishbook, God does want us to have mustard seed faith that moves mountains!
  1. “Lord, teach us to pray…”  (Luke 11:1-10)
    1. An odd request (vs. 1) because…
      1. These were Jewish men who had grown up in the Jewish religion and had probably grown up praying at home and in the temple.  They knew how to pray, they knew how to pray the “traditional” way.  They had seen the religious leaders pray, maybe even those self-righteous men who prayed at the street corners.
      2. But Jesus prayed differently.
        1. Jesus prayed from the heart.
        2. Jesus prayed with originality.
        3. Jesus’ prayers were not rote or rehearsed but with meaning.
        4. Jesus’ prayers were with resignation and purpose.
        5. Jesus’ prayers were intense.
      3. Jesus teaches them the basics of prayer (Luke 11 and Matthew 6)
        1. To whom the prayer is directed
        2. Pray for the Kingdom
        3. Food
        4. Forgiveness
        5. Temptation
      4. But, if you really want to learn about and how to pray, let me tell you a story…
    2. Suppose you have a friend and he goes to you at midnight and says, “Friend, lend me some dough, ok, bread.”  (Luke 11:5-8)
      1. This is an inappropriate request because it’s late, it’s a one room house and everyone is asleep.  Don’t think of our modern homes where people have their own bedrooms.  When people went to bed, everyone was IN BED!
      2. When this “friend” came a knocking it was terribly inappropriate.
        1. By this time the disciples knew 2 things about Jesus’ stories: 1) it was about them and, 2) it was about God.
        2. What this man needed at midnight was bread for entertaining his company.
        3. He was persistent (Luke 11:8).  
          1. Impudent.
          2. Importune.  
          3. Not ashamed to keep asking.
          4. He had shameless audacity (willingness to take bold risks) 
      3. The homeowner told the friend to leave and quit bothering him, to be quiet and not wake up the kids.  
        1. Isn’t this how some of us see God?  That when it comes to prayer, we are a bother to Him?
        2. Or, if we pray and nothing happens, then He probably doesn’t care or our petitions aren’t really that important to bother God with.  
        3. Verse 8 says that the reason that the reason why the homeowner got out of bed, woke up the family and gave this man 3 (that’s right, 3 measly) loaves of bread was because of his shameless audacity.  
          1. Couldn’t this have waited until the morning?  
          2. Probably so, but not for this friend.
    3. You mean God is like this upset homeowner?
      1. Similar story in Luke 18 about the persistent widow.
      2. No, God is not upset when we pray to Him, He wants us to pray.  The point is that we be persistent when we pray and that we pray with boldness and faith.
      3. We teach polite and tame prayers, folding of the hands and bowing of the heads.  Jesus on the other hand seems to be teaching a different kind of prayer.
        1. a pleading and begging type of prayer
        2. a gut wrenching type of prayer
        3. a arms in the air, tear-filled eyes looking up to God type of prayer
        4. a “I know that You are the Creator of Heaven and Earth and that you can cure cancer!” type of prayer.
        5. a God who can and will move mountains!
      4. When we study the prayers of:
        1. Abraham
        2. Moses
        3. Hannah
        4. David
        5. Paul
        6. These folks prayed with all boldness
        7. These types of prayers honor God
  2. Praying Big and Bold (Luke 11:10)
    1. The prayers in the Bible are examples of people who were persistent, who did not pray once and give up, but prayed and prayed.  
      1. These are the people who took God’s answer and dealt with it, even if the answer was no.
      2. Jesus prayed for a different way at Gethsemane, but resigned Himself His Father’s will, and His Father’s will was at Calvary.  (Matthew 26:39)
    2. Do you pray “one and done” or do you knock and keep on knocking on heaven’s door until you feel like God says, “It’s you again?  I’m not going to stir these angels to tend to your prayer again.”  God wants us, He really wants us to go to Him day and night in prayer with small things and especially with BIG things.
      1. James says that sometimes we don’t have because we don’t ask (James 4:2).
      2. No wonder so little happens in the lives of many Christians and in so many churches, because we just don’t ask, and when we do ask we don’t ask with earth shaking, knee knocking faith, mountain shattering faith.
    3. Jesus’ parables challenge us to get out of our comfort zones.
    4. God is well aware of the size of your burdens.  
      1. Sometimes we forget the size of our God!
      2. The 10 spies focused on the size of giants, Caleb and Joshua focused on the size of their God.  40 years later Caleb at 85 years old said, my eyes are still on my God, give me my mountain to conquer.  “Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no giant big enough, if God is with me…”  Joshua 14:6-15
    5. There will always be giants in the land, Goliaths in our paths and impossible Jericho walls to stymie our progress.
      1. That will never change.
      2. Something else that never changes is that with God nothing is impossible (Matthew 19:26).
    6. We honor God by the size of our requests.  He loves it when we approach His throne with confident, bold persistence.  Lord, teach us to pray.
  3. What should we pray for at Hueytown?
    1. Unity (John 17:20-23)
    2. Peace (Colossians 3:13-14; 1 Corinthians 1:10)
    3. Souls (Matthew 28:19-20; Haggai 2:19)

Conclusion:

God’s Plan of Salvation

GOD’S PART

1. The great love of God for man (John 3:16)

2. He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Savior (Luke 19:10)

3. Sent the Holy Spirit as a guide (John 16:13)

4. Gave the Gospel as “the power” unto salvation (Romans 1:16)

5. Provided atonement by the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9)

MAN’S PART

1. Hear the Gospel. (Romans 10:17, John 8:32)

2. Believe the Gospel (Hebrews 11:6, John 20:31)

3. Repent of past sins (Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30)

4. Confess faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10, Matthew 10:32)

5. Be Baptized (Galatians 3:27, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38)

6. Be faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10)

Download in PDF format Lord, Teach us to pray, Big  Sermon idea and points borrowed from Wilson Adams