Joshua Pyle, his wife, Wendy, and children, Hannah, Caleb, Naomi, and Nathan, were guests at Bethany Baptist Church, Sunday. The Pyle Family are on deputation trying to raise financial and prayer support so that they can go as missionaries to South Sudan.
Joshua and Wendy grew up in the same church. Joshua’s father is the pastor for their sending church. His statement to Joshua was that even if they already had enough financial support coming in that he would send him out for a year of deputation in order to obtain prayer support. No missionary can be successful without people praying for him and no church can do a greater thing for missionaries than to pray for them.
No one can afford not to pray. The disciples heard Jesus pray many times and they saw the results of those prayers. They asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. In Luke 11:1-13, Jesus taught them the basic elements necessary for fervent effectual prayer.
Jesus began with, “Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” There should be an element of praise and worship in which we declare the worth of our Lord. We are reminded of how splendid God is to us.
When we say, “Thy kingdom come,” we are looking forward and hoping for the day that Jesus will return to set up his eternal kingdom. The nations of the earth have not yet submitted unto the Lord, but they will. A kingdom is made up of people who have submitted themselves to a king. We now live under grace, and those who choose to submit themselves to the Lord, become the children of God.
“Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” The Lord’s will is done perfectly in heaven. We are saying that we want to do God’s will, to do his will as perfectly as we can. The willingness to submit in everything does not come naturally. We must pray and ask for God’s help in this matter.
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Jesus was telling us to ask for our daily basic needs. By asking, we acknowledge that all good things come from God. God is able to provide for our needs. We are not to live in fear and worry. “Can we pay our bills by losing sleep?” God knows what we need and when we need it.
“And forgive us our sins.” A day does not go by without our doing something wrong. So we need to ask for forgiveness and that God will lead us away from the place of temptation. It is not God’s plan for us to live in bondage to besetting sin. Jesus conquered sin by his death, the grave, and the resurrection.
In the verses following the model prayer, Jesus gave examples so that we might improve the effectiveness of our prayers. When a friend came knocking on the door asking for bread at midnight, the good man got up, not because he cared about his friend’s hungry guest, but because he knew that his friend would keep knocking until he got up. We give up too quick. We are told to persist in asking, seeking, and knocking. Effective prayer involves diligence and persistence.
God’s character is such that he would give better gifts than even a loving father who know how to give good gifts. God delights in giving to us the things we need, the help, the comfort, the forgiveness. We should not be so independent that we fail to ask. God help us if we get to a stage that we think we don’t need him. God will help us to become fervent and effective prayer warriors.