January 4, 2015 Sunday School Commentary
Jesus Teaching on Prayer – Luke 11:1-13
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”( Luke 11:9).
This first of the year many make new resolutions and commitments in the secular world. Whereas, they can be great goals to set, they will ultimately fail if we place them priority over our spiritual growth. Wisdom speaks for us to “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” (Proverbs 16:3).
How are we to commit our secular and spiritual goals to God?
Declarations through Prayer
Jesus’ disciple, John, was also curious. When he saw Jesus praying in the beginning of chapter 11, he asked Jesus to show the disciples how to pray. Jesus didn’t just start speaking words. He was strategic in his example because he wanted the disciples and us to have a model prayer life. Jesus started his prayer by acknowledging the Father, respecting the Father’s position and declaring the Father as the one in dominion. This is very relevant because not just any one can hear and answer prayers.
Prayer is a great benefit to us especially when we consider the asking and receiving concept. One of the key examples that Jesus provides in his model prayer is selflessness. In verse four he states, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us”. That is not a pill that goes down like cake. Forgiveness requires examination. Forgiveness of others that have hurt us requires a conditioned heart. It requires us to have compassion for others.
Guess what? This is what God gives us through grace. He doesn’t stop there.
Jesus continues in his illustration by instructing us to not just give forgiveness, but also give to those when we are being inconvenienced . Ouch! How many times have you been resting from much needed sleep and received a phone call from a friend that needed to talk because he or she was going through a crisis? How many times have you been asked to run an errand for someone and your to-do-list was already over a page long? How many times have you ignored the doorbell or knock at your door because you didn’t want to be bothered?
I’m guilty too!
You know what? God allows us to treat him this way. We expect him to hear us, listen to us and answer our prayers regardless of the day, time or issues that are going on with others. He doesn’t give us complaints about how our timing isn’t right. He is there to hear us. Isn’t God just amazing? And it gets better!
After we go through this process of self-examination, even if we are falling short in areas, God still tells us we can receive. That means those goals that you have set this year for you and your family will happen because you are committing them to the LORD through your prayer life. Yes, it’s a continual process. Yes, the road might get a little bumpy this year. You might encounter setbacks. The enemy will try to block it. BUT, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn” (Isaiah 54:17a). Therefore, use your weapon of prayer this year even more. Talk to God, hear from God and receive all that he has for you this year. It’s yours for the asking!
Commentary by Evangelist Shulanda J. Hastings,
Spirit Realm Divine Manifestation Ministries