Continuing our study in the Gospel of Luke, we see recorded what is usually referred to as the Lord’s Prayer. More accurately, this should be called the disciples’ prayer, for it provides a structure or model for praying to the Heavenly Father.  It is a prayer that has as its primary meaning a future time period known as the Tribulation in which the forces of evil embodied in the anti-Christ will launch a massive attack to eradicate the Jews from the earth.  This all out effort will be Satan’s desperate attempt to prevent the millennial reign of Christ on earth as King of the Jews.  Thus, those who have responded to the gospel that will be preached throughout the entire world will cry out to God for deliverance … “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Luke 11:2).  In this present time of the Church age, this prayer defines a structure for personal prayer that includes private confession of personal sins to the Father, acknowledgement and praise of the integrity of the Father, petition to the Father and a plea for protection and provision from the onslaught of the wicked one.  Dr. Luke records Jesus’ words to illustrate important concepts in this prayer. “Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'  "Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.'  I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs” (Luke 11:5-8 NIV).  Note that while the neighbor resisted at first the continued knocking to get up and lend bread, the persistence of the man at the door finally caused the unwilling lender to yield.  Care must be taken in interpreting analogies and illustrations for as in this case, the uncaring neighbor is NOT a picture of our Heavenly Father.  Remember that Dr. Luke presents things by contrast – a persistent nagging knock as opposed to the gracious command of the Father to “ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Luke 11:9).  The lesson is not that we have to keep asking our Heavenly Father in order to get what we want, but rather we go to Him for whatever we need and if it is His will, He will grant it.  Those who have placed their faith in Christ, believing that he died of the Cross for the sins of mankind, and that He was buried and rose again, have the unprecedented privilege of coming to the Father, not sheepishly, coming … “boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16).  The Apostle Paul therefore issues the command … “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil 4:6).  Peter will use a wrestling metaphor of slamming the opponent to the floor, as to what believers are to do with worry … “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Pet 5:7).  Prayer is a privilege, not a genie.   James issues a warning concerning the misuse of prayer … “You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:2-3).   However, when we ask for that which is in the will of God, we have the assurance that our Heavenly Father will grant our petition. Thus the Apostle James encourages us to pray correctly, that is,  to the Father, in the power of the Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ, for … “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16 b). 

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