Ephesians 3:14-21 - Nigel Beynon

A while ago I read about a Vietnam veteran Bob Campbell, of Baltimore. After Vietnam, Bob became an alcoholic. However years later – Bob says – quote - “I gave my heart to God. That night the old Bob went away. Up to that moment, I was drinking Scotch from 6.30am until 8pm at night. But after that, I didn’t drink again - and I haven’t to this day.”

 

I read that simply to raise the question of what we expect God to do in our lives today. For Bob there was very real action by God in his life. Very tangible and immediate effect of knowing God. I wonder what we think of that? If we are Christians – or if we were to become a Christian – what would we expect God to do in our lives today?

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Prayer Luke 11.5-8  

Statistics show that all of us pray at some time. Some of us only pray occasionally when we are in a crisis. Others of us pray a little more frequently. But none of us would say we pray a lot. We are slow to pray. But why? If God is your father and you are his child why wouldn’t you come to God in prayer? There’s only one answer.

It’s the oldest lie in the world. The one that the serpent used in the garden of eden. A lie that runs deep. The lie that God is not good; that he’s mean and doesn’t answer our prayers. Our trials and sufferings and seeming unanswered prayers seem to back up the lie and so we feel that God says, 'No' alot.. And so we don’t pray. 

Jesus realizes this might be an objection to us praying and so in v5-8 he gives us a parable to motivate us to pray by seeing that God will answer when we pray because He must! 

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Prayer Luke 11:2-4

Prayer is a struggle – sometimes we don’t desire to pray, or our prayers seem to go unanswered so long that we lose heart. We don’t know how to pray. We don’t know what to pray.

Jesus gives us a framework for prayer. More crucially there are deep reasons to pray within the framework. Thousands of books written on prayer to help us pray. One of the most prominent recently was spiritual writer, Anne Lamott’s book on prayer entitled. Help, Thanks, Wow: The three essential prayers. 

Jesus’ pattern of prayer is a little different. And, good as Lamott’s writing is, Jesus’ is the pattern worth following. 

Jesus’ pattern is WOW, sorry, please  

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Prayer Luke 11:1-2

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’ [Jesus] said to them, ‘When you pray, say: “Father..."

Father

this is the foundation of all prayer. Father

Jesus doesn’t begin with whats or hows but with who.  If we are ever to truly pray it is not subjects or methods that we need. We need to know who it is that we are invited to pray to.. 

Father 

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