Pastor Jeff Knott of Grace Church in Port Hope, Ontario continues the sermon series on “parables: the secrets of the kingdom of heaven” with “Prayer- Habit or Heartfelt?”:
One of the sure fire ways to move us beyond this casual kind of prayer life are difficulties.
The challenges of life focus our petitions.
It is the difficult situations in our life that activate our faith and get us praying.
Morgan – “Faith is the answer to a question and therefore is out of work when there is no question.”
Parables on Prayer teach us how to pray and the kind of God we pray to.
If you know the kind of God you are praying to, it will change and shape and morph your prayers into something that God can use for His glory and to meet your particular need.
Our prayer often is hindered when we don’t understand the character of the One we are praying to.
If God is a tight-fisted old man, then why should you even ask for much if He doesn’t want to give it you.
If God is absent from the world, He’s the absent landlord, if that’s the kind of God you serve, why bother to ask, He’s not close enough to hear what you’re saying.
If God is only concerned that you do everything right and He’s counting up all the things you’ve done wrong, then how do you get past that hurdle?
If God is some unfathomable mystery to you, beyond understanding, well then where do you even start to pray?
The problem of prayer is God – or at least to say, it is our perception of Him.
Jesus can to teach us and show us what God is like. Jesus is God with flesh on.
Parables are one of the ways Jesus teaches us of how God works in the world and works in our lives.
Pray shamelessly – it means to pray with an unrelenting faith that takes hold of the promises of God. It means to pray with a brazen tenacity to believe in the goodness of God. It’s to pray with a shameless trust that God and God alone is Your hope. It’s to pray with confidence that allows you to stand in boldness in the very presence of God and make your request known, knowing that God will answer that prayer – that’s chutzpah.
If the neighbour will respond to a request for help, how much more will God answer those He loves?
If God did not hold back His Son from us, how much more will He give all the other things we need for our life?
The promise of prayer is God – God’s character – His goodness, His faithfulness.
Don’t pray to God as if He was an untrustworthy friend; don’t pray to God as if He was an unjust judge – for He’s not. He is the Beloved One, He is your Friend, He is a good, good Father, faithful and true.
Walter Wink, “History belongs to the intercessor; those who believe and pray the future into being.”