Luke 11:1-13 is among my favorite Bible passages on prayer.
Luke 11:1-4 records the Model Prayer, which Jesus taught His disciples when they asked. Right after the Model Prayer, verse 5-8 Luke records a parable, and the parable is followed by more instructions Jesus gave pertaining to prayer, verses 9-12.
On this post I will focus on the Luke 11:9-12.
I am always interested in spiritual growth. I am especially interested in prayer, the topic, the reality of prayer fascinates me, and passages like Luke 11:1-13 are a goldmine of information on prayer. When I read Luke 11:9-13 I read Jesus telling his followers (me, you, the church, etc.) to ask, seek and knock.
What else could I ask for? Jesus just told me, He just told us, to ask, seek and knock. There are no conditional clauses in Luke 11:9-10.
"For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."
Jesus is guaranteeing a result. How come we pray so little? How come so few attend the weekly prayer meeting? How come I am so prone to forget to pray or to rush through memorized prayers?
Why do I leave prayer as a last resort, when everything else has failed, instead of making it my first and top resource?
As a religious leader, as a spiritual counselor, as a church pastor, as a preacher, why don't I pray more often?
This is an area of my life I have been intentionally trying to change. If you know me you know I try to pray with everyone and anyone who is willing. I believe in prayer and I need to start acting more like I do. I need to walk the talk, and passages like Luke 11:1-13 encourage me to continue to work at improving my prayer life.
Strengthening the prayer meeting is one of my top priorities at my new church here in Valdosta, GA. Because I believe prayer will accomplish more than anything else we can do.
Jesus tells us to ask, seek and knock, how can I believe otherwise?
I love how Jesus explains to his followers these simple prayer principles in verses 11-12.
"If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?"
This passage took on new meaning once I became a father. I love giving my son good gifts, gifts that will help him, gifts that will be beneficial to him. I can relate to what Jesus is saying.
Jesus then ends His explanation with the main verse I want to focus on, Luke 11:13.
"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
I know it sounds harsh when Jesus refers to us as evil, but I can see his point. We are all sinners in desperate need of grace, yet, even though we live sinful lives in a fallen world, we are still wiling to give good gifts to our children.
One detail that I really like in Luke 11:13 is how Jesus highlights the Father's willingness to give the Holy Spirit.
Be honest with me.
When was the last time you asked God for the Holy Spirit?
Luke 11:13 is the verse that changed the life of Oswald Chambers. The story is recorded in the book "They Found The Secret" by V. Raymond Edman. (I would love to quote it to you but I lent the book to a friend and never saw it again.)
Jesus tells you to ask, seek, and knock.
Not only that He tells us the Father is especially eager to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. So I guess the only question left is,
What keeps you from asking the Father for the Holy Spirit?
What prevents you from asking, seeking, and knocking?
Do you think God is going to run out of power?
Do you think God will run out of love?
Then what stops you?
Go ahead, ask!