Today Pastor Ed Allen continued his sermon series, "Jesus Answers Our Questions," today looking at what Jesus said about prayer. He focused on two passages, in both of which Jesus presented a model prayer, commonly known as "The Lord's Prayer," Matthew 6:5-15 and Luke 11:1-13. In both passages, there is teaching before and after this example is presented. And from them we pulled out three characteristics of our relationship with God and three characteristics of God's response to us.
Characteristics of Our Relationship with God in Prayer:
YAGA: "You and God alone."
Don't be showy like the Gentiles; come to a secret place. We address God as our Father -- we're invited into a profoundly intimate relationship.
Jesus enabled us to have an intimate relationship with God.
The closer I am to someone, the less I worry about what to say and getting the words right.
KISS: "Keep it simple, stupid."
Especially when we're praying with other people, we don't need to impress them, and we don't need lots of words in order to be heard. We don't have to convince God or earn our way to praying the right way.
Jesus' model prayer is simple. We should not be intimidated by prayer.
PUSH: "Pray Until Something Happens."
In Luke 11, we're urged to have "shameless audacity" in prayer. We are God's children. We can ask the king anything.
Characteristics of God's Response to Us
God responds like a loving Father. This is why we pray. We're not in a commercial relationship with God; it's a family relationship.
A family relationship is a permanent, committed relationship. We don't have to perform.
Go after my Father, not my Father's stuff.
In a commercial exchange, if you don't get what you want, you either feel guilty or angry. That's not how it is between us and God.
The Lord gives good gifts to His children.
He gives us what we really need rather than what we think we need.
Sometimes, we're asking for the wrong thing. Like our children, we might ask for candy when we need a nap.
Sometimes, what we really need is more of Him. Sometimes that's why there's a delay.
God gives GOOD gifts.
God's response to us is definite. He WILL answer.
It's told us in three ways: Ask, seek, knock -- We will be answered.
It's said again in John: John 14:13; 15:16; 16:24
We are God's children, not His tenants or His customers. He will hear and He will answer.