The Manner of Prayer – How We Should Pray

Luke 11v5-13

And He said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who 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!” (ESV)

Consider the following:

  1. Perseverance (impudence) in Prayer
    Jesus says we must persevere in prayer. Pray without ceasing (see 1 Tim. 2v9). We must not grow weary. The following people prayed fervently in their times of need:
    a) Zechariah and Elizabeth
    b) Hanna
    c) Augustine’s mother Monica
    d) George Muller
    e) Andrew Murray

  2. Promises Jesus gives us to pray
    The scriptures contain a number of encouraging imperatives (active verbs) indicating Jesus taught that prayer and action go hand in hand (Ora et Lobora). When we pray we must combine action (the means God has given us) with prayer. The following imperatives are present in the text:
    a) “Ask and it will be given to you”
    b) “Seek and you will find”
    c) “Knock and the door will be opened”

  3. Primary gift
    His guests needed something to eat and Jesus uses the analogy of a father providing for this son. What is the primary or ultimate gift? See verse 13. Consider the ministry of the Holy Spirit (see Psalm 51, Psalm 143v10). Think of Simeon and how the Holy Spirit was on him (Eph. 5v18). We must be filled with the Spirit, then we will see the fruit of the Spirit. We are then enabled to worship with our hearts and not just our lips. See Romans 8v5. Consider the beatitudes: The poor in spirit, those who mourn (lamenting your sin) and those who are meek (the humble). If you are experiencing these then the Lord is answering your prayers! Note there is certainty: if we ask sincerely we will receive. There should always be a hunger and a desire to grow in our faith (2 Cor. 12v8). When we are weak (thorn in the flesh) then we are strong. Sometimes we need to struggle through difficulties to know the power of God working within us.