Sunday School Material 1-4-15: Jesus Model for Prayer





(Luke 11:1-13; 1/4/15)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is Jesus teaches His disciples how to pray. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on our prayer lives.

(Click here for pdf version)

Body:

Read Luke 11:1-4

I. Request and Response. Jesus has finished what appeared to be His personal prayer in our Sunday School material. One of His disciples asked for a teaching on how to pray. Jesus taught them what we have come to know as the “Model Prayer” or the “Lord’s Prayer.”

Applications -

- Our example. Notice in vs. 1 that Jesus lived a life that inspired others to follow. Jesus prayed in such a way that His disciples wanted to pray like Him. In like manner, as disciples of Christ, we should strive to live the sermons and teachings that we are trying to communicate.

It is one thing to teach a class on prayer and thereby give information. But it is another to live a life of prayer that inspires transformation in others. Let’s work on living lives that inspires the godly living of others.

- Questions. Notice in vs. 2 that questions can be a great indicator of what needs to be taught (i.e., curriculum) and learned (i.e., understood).

On one hand, the church would do well to give members an opportunity to ask questions as a means of determining what curriculum the church needs to present.  

On the other hand, every believer needs to work on developing an understanding of those significant questions that come to their minds.

Believers should learn how to find answers to their significant questions, because what is significant to one person may not be significant to many others and therefore may not receive much attention at the church.

The church would do well to help people learn how to develop understanding on their own, in addition to what is intentionally taught by the church. Let’s work on responding to questions as teaching/learning opportunities.

- A healthy prayer life. Notice in vss. 2-4 of our Sunday School material we have what may be called Luke’s version of the Model Prayer (i.e., some may say the “Lord’s Prayer”).

First, prayer or communicating with God should often have some form of structure. A basic structure helps us keep some balance in our praying. Without structure, we can spend too much time asking and not enough time thanking God for what we already have.

Second, our praying should include both a recognition of God’s greatness and seeking His will being done. The kingdom of God includes all that God the King rules.

Therefore, our individual lives should be within the kingdom - under God’s rulership. Our churches, families, and ultimately our communities (i.e., local and global) should be within the kingdom - under God’s rulership.

Third, our praying should include expressions of our daily dependence on God for our physical (e.g., bread) and spiritual (e.g., forgiveness and leading us not into temptation) needs.

Fourth, our praying should recognize that fellowship with other people influences our fellowship with God. Therefore, we should work on having a forgiving spirit towards people, so God can have a forgiving spirit towards us. Let’s work on developing a healthy prayer life.

Individual praying should enhance our corporate praying. If individual members had healthy prayer lives then the church would have a healthy prayer life. Our poorly attended prayer meetings indicate poor corporate prayer life, which may indicate poor individual prayer lives as well.

Read Luke 11:5-10

II. Seeking and Receiving. Jesus shares a comparison in our Sunday School material. He talks about how a friend will give to another friend because of the requesting friend’s shameless audacity. This is compared to how God will answer prayers.

Applications -

- Shameless audacity. Notice in vss. 5-10 that shameless audacity leads to answered prayer. On one hand, we should thank God that God will answer our prayers, if we have enough bold and shameless faith.

On the other hand, as we will see below. There are some things that God will not give us, no matter how much we ask. Let’s work on developing the shameless audacity needed for effective prayer.

Prayerful study of God’s word with a mind to obey it and the support of other disciples of Christ can help us with this application.

Read Luke 15:11-13

III. Material and Spiritual. Jesus compares God’s care for His people to that of an Earthly father. God gives good gifts, not bad. He is said to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask.

Applications -

- Good gifts. Notice in vss. 11-13 of our Sunday School material that God gives good gifts, not evil ones. There are things that we ask God for that seem good to us; however, in the long run, they will do us harm.

Therefore, God doesn’t give them to us. Think about how a young person may want a sports car, before they have developed safe driving habits. Think about the person who wants money and luxury without the necessary work.

It is evil to give people those things that they can and should earn on their own. Working and earning a living nurtures Christian character. Let’s work on trusting God to give us what is best for us.

- The Holy Spirit. Notice in vs. 13 that God gives the gift of the Holy Spirit. As believers, we believe that when we accept Jesus as our savior by faith that we also receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit provides comfort, teaching, guidance, and conviction along our journey.

Let’s live like we appreciate having the Holy Spirit in our lives. Such living should be known for obeying God’s will.

Conclusion: Let’s work on our prayer lives. God has much for those who obey His will.

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