READ: Luke 11:1-13
THINK: When Jesus' disciples wanted to be more like Him, effectively ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit, they did not ask Him, "Lord, teach us to do miracles," or "teach us how to relate effectively to others," or even, "teach us to have great faith." No, they asked, "Lord, teach us to pray." By spending extended time with Jesus, it was obvious to them that the source of His miraculous power and supernatural guidance was that He had spent time communicating with His Father.
RESPOND: Why do you think Jesus disciple's asked Him to teach them to pray? Following Jesus' example, what are some of the things we should pray for? (See 11:3 note.) How should we approach God in regard to our daily needs and provisions? What is Jesus trying to teach about faith through the story of asking a friend for bread (vv. 5-9)? Is God reluctant to answer our prayers? Why or why not? (See 11:9 note.) What can persistent prayer develop in your life? Why is dependence on God so vital in seeing answers to prayer? (See article on Effective Praying, p. 446.) In what ways is God a good Father?
PRAY: Pray for something that you have not prayed for in a while--perhaps you had given up hope or gotten weary of asking. Don't feel that you are begging God for an answer, as if He is reluctant to respond. Instead, let your ongoing prayers in this matter be an ongoing expression of dependence on God.
ACT: Read or re-read the article on Effective Praying, p. 446. After you've read it--or if you've read it before-- focus on several of the Scriptural principles and examples contained in the article, which you can begin to apply immediately. Then set aside some extra time every day this week specifically for prayer. Remember, this time should be spent not only speaking to God, but listening as well for His response and direction.
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