Five Holy Habits - Prayer - Episode 50

Five Holy Habits - Prayer - Episode 50
Season 4 Sweet Selah Moments Podcas...

 
 
00:00 / 00:30:50
 
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How's your prayer life? Do you find it easy to talk to God? Do you have the "habit" of praying? Let's talk about the different kinds of prayers we Christians pray, and let's just be amazed that the God of the Universe wants to hear from us. Often. For more details on Organizing Your Personal Prayer Life, visit our YouTube channel and click on the series with that name.

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Read the transcript for Five Holy Habits-Prayer

Speaker 1 (00:02):

Are you ready to embrace a little stillness, some rest for your soul today. Welcome to the Sweet Selah moments podcast, where we stop and study God’s words and encourage one another to know him better and love him more. This Sweet Selah moments podcast is brought to you by Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.

Nicole (00:28):

Welcome to the Sweet Selah moments podcast. We are in the middle of a series entitled Five Holy Habits of the Christian. Last week, we looked at the importance of Bible reading. We need to make that one of our habits. Sharon, our topic today is one of my favorites. This episode, episode 50, is all about prayer, Developing a Prayer Habit.

Sharon (00:48):

Yay!

Nicole (00:48):

So before I tell you about my prayer life, Sharon, I would first like to tell you about a very special relative of mine. When we first moved to New Hampshire, I met for the very first time, a very sweet family member. She was a hundred when we met her, my Great-Great Aunt Frances.

Sharon (01:07):

Really? Oh my goodness!

Nicole (01:09):

She was amazing.

Sharon (01:09):

You barely got to meet her.

Nicole (01:10):

I did, yeah. Well, no, I think she was in her nineties when I met her, actually. I was little, I was like nine or 10, so. She was wonderful. Everyone that met her said how wonderful she was and that she was a prayer warrior. She was known for her prayers.

Sharon (01:23):

Sweet.

Nicole (01:24):

And if Aunt Frances said she was going to pray for you, she did.

Sharon (01:26):

She actually did, she didn’t just say it.

Nicole (01:28):

She did. And she would pray and write emails, emails in her hundreds.

Sharon (01:33):

Seriously?

Nicole (01:33):

Yeah, she would send me birthday emails with scrolling fonts and pink. And I have no idea how she did it. She was incredible.

Sharon (01:39):

Wow!

Nicole (01:39):

But that woman prayed and was such a faithful prayer warrior til the day she died for missionaries and friends and family. And she completely inspired me by her faithfulness to strive to be a prayer warrior as well.

Sharon (01:51):

I love that.

Nicole (01:52):

Yeah. So I absolutely love prayer. It’s amazing to have this open line of communication to our Savior all day long. I find it really easy to talk to God continually throughout the day. I’m always offering up like a quick prayer for grace or help.

Sharon (02:06):

Help is a good one.

Nicole (02:09):

Yes. Patience, oh no! Or just thankfulness as I see something in nature that inspires, you know, admiration in his creation.

Sharon (02:17):

Yeah, yeah!

Nicole (02:17):

So, you know, even though I talk to God all day, I really want to work on the habit of more focused, intentional prayer, you know, like taking that time to really pray in depth over those I love. And maybe even pray some scripture over my kids and my husband and my loved ones.

Sharon (02:30):

Oh, how sweet.

Nicole (02:31):

I like that. I really want to work on that. But you know, it’s so hard to remember who to pray for when I sit to pray. And sometimes I get really overwhelmed trying to remember who to pray for and try to pray for everyone in one sitting.

Sharon (02:43):

And that’s impossible.

Nicole (02:44):

And then I’m there for two days

Sharon (02:46):

Yes, you are. And the children are hungry.

Nicole (02:49):

Yes. Sharon, how about you? What is it like in your prayer life?

Sharon (02:52):

Well it’s so funny because we’re the opposite. I love the organized prayer list time of day so much. I have this system that I’ve worked out where, you know, each grandchild gets their own day so I’m not praying for all seven every day, for example. And they each have their own scripture and I pray that scripture for them. And I just pour into them blessing. And I kind of do that with everything. You know, I pray for one team member a day. I pray for the President of the United States on Saturdays. It’s all very tidy.

Nicole (03:23):

Yes, I kind of like that.

Sharon (03:26):

Because you cannot pray for everybody every day. In detail. You can kind of, God bless the world, but that’s about it. So, yeah, so I have a system. In fact, if you listeners want to go to YouTube, you can watch it. It’s called Organizing Your Personal Prayer Life. It’s six episodes long and I did it first on Facebook and then we transferred it to YouTube because a lot of people ask me, how do you do this? Well, that’s how I do it. So you just have to go to YouTube Nicole.

Nicole (03:53):

Oh, great. I think I will.

Sharon (03:57):

But you know, you were talking about your aunt. I had an aunt too who prayed? You know what? Aunts are special.

Nicole (04:03):

They are, especially great, great aunts.

Sharon (04:06):

They really are. Oh, man. Well Aunt Barbara was an English aunt. British, married, and then divorced from my Uncle John. And she showed me, in her house, she had like a little room under her staircase. Have you ever seen little rooms under staircases?

Nicole (04:20):

Yes, those are so cool.

Sharon (04:21):

And it was her prayer room. Just like the movie War Room. I mean, just like it. She had my picture on her wall along with, you know, 10,000 others. And she had a little chair in there and her Bible and a little table and Nicole, every day she spent an hour in her prayer room and she touched the pictures and she prayed for us. It was just so precious.

Nicole (04:45):

That’s so cool.

Sharon (04:46):

So yay Aunt Frances! Yay Aunt Barbara.

Nicole (04:48):

I know these godly women living this legacy for us, you know?

Sharon (04:51):

Exactly. And you wonder how, how are we changed because Aunt Frances and Aunt Barbara prayed?

Nicole (04:58):

That gives me goose bumps. That’s amazing.

Sharon (04:59):

Really, yeah. It’s just stunning. And I love that prayers can outlast them. Barbara could have been sitting in her prayer room saying, Lord, when Sharon’s my age, which should be about now, you know, help her to still be following you. And I am!

Nicole (05:14):

Oh, wow.

Sharon (05:14):

I mean, I don’t know if she prayed that but, you know, she could have.

Nicole (05:18):

She might have, yeah.

Sharon (05:18):

It’s kind of fun to think our prayers can out last us.

Nicole (05:20):

And that’s really neat.

Sharon (05:21):

I love praying for like my grandchildren’s grandchildren. Isn’t that funny?

Nicole (05:27):

That is fun. Because you want to leave part of yourself, you know, something that lasts in the world.

Sharon (05:31):

Something that lasts.

Nicole (05:31):

And what is better than prayer for your family?

Sharon (05:33):

Exactly. And I want my grandchildren’s grandchildren to still be following Jesus.

Nicole (05:37):

Absolutely.

Sharon (05:37):

So I best be praying for them. And I’ll maybe get a window from heaven to peek in and see ‘how’s it going, Lord?’.

Nicole (05:43):

That’d be really cool.

Sharon (05:45):

Oh my goodness. So, all right. Well, this podcast today, getting back to business here, is how to develop a habit of prayer, both for me, to develop more of the habit you have of talking to God during the day. If I did that a little more often, I’d say less things I regret. I am sure of it. And developing the habit of a set time of prayer as well, each day. Both are different and both are important. So we’re going to look first at Jesus’ teaching on prayer as our inspiration, because we always feel like the most important part of our podcast is the part where we read God’s actual words from the Bible.

Nicole (06:23):

Yes.

Sharon (06:23):

Our words are fallible and we stumble. We say things poorly and we can be downright silly at times, but God’s word is eternal, right and totally good. We are on safe ground when we listen directly to him. So Nicole, why don’t you introduce our passage for the day? And let’s have our Sweet Selah moment in the Word of God.

Nicole (06:46):

We are going to read from Luke 11:1-14 and I’ll start with verse one, teaching about prayer. “Once Jesus was in a certain place praying, as he finished one of his disciples came to him and said, Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”

Sharon (07:01):

“Jesus said, this is how you should pray, Father, may your name be kept holy. May your kingdom come soon.”

Nicole (07:11):

“Give us each day the food we need.” (And, oops that’s yours).

Sharon (07:17):

It’s an important one, we could say this one twice. “And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us and don’t let us yield to temptation.”

Nicole (07:27):

“Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story. Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him,”

Sharon (07:37):

“A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit and I have nothing for him to eat.”

Nicole (07:41):

“And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.”

Sharon (07:48):

“But I tell you this, though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.” Who says Jesus doesn’t have a sense of humor? This is funny.

Nicole (08:01):

I know, I love this story.

Sharon (08:02):

Oh, my goodness. Okay, go ahead, verse nine.

Nicole (08:04):

“And so I tell you, keep on asking and you’ll receive what you ask for, keep on seeking and you will find, keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.”

Sharon (08:14):

“For everyone who asks, receives everyone who seeks, finds, and to everyone who knocks the door will be opened.”

Nicole (08:23):

“You fathers, if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead?”

Sharon (08:27):

“Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not.”

Nicole (08:32):

“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” Wow.

Sharon (08:42):

I know, this is a fun passage. All of it, from the Lord’s Prayer, all the way through scorpions instead of eggs.

Nicole (08:48):

I know. He’s got a good sense of humor. You have to admit.

Sharon (08:51):

And also just, just as a total aside, the guy says, my family and I are all in bed together. Back in those days, probably, maybe some people didn’t have like separate bedrooms.

Nicole (09:00):

Oh, right.

Sharon (09:01):

Can you imagine? I mean, like if I get out of bed, I’m going to wake five kids and my wife.

Nicole (09:05):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (09:05):

It was just so funny. I just sort of pictured the guy going ‘leave us alone, don’t wake up the baby’. So.

Nicole (09:12):

That is funny.

Sharon (09:13):

Well, all right, let’s go back to the beginning of the passage though. Let’s start with how the topic of prayer came up in our verses today. Why did the disciples ask the question about prayer when they did?

Nicole (09:23):

They saw Jesus pray.

Sharon (09:26):

Exactly. They saw it, they witnessed prayer.

Nicole (09:29):

Yeah. We see that so often in scripture, Jesus praying. He was always talking to his father. I just love that.

Sharon (09:34):

He was, and he was God himself, but he went away and he developed the habit of prayer and he modeled it. You’re right. So, all right then, we’re going to talk about seven different reasons why we should develop a habit of prayer. And Reason. Number One is because Jesus did it. He even had a certain place, Luke tells us, where he went to pray. So they knew where to find him. The habit of meeting with him in a certain place is a great one, Nicole, to have a place to meet with God. We both have our brown couches in the morning. And it’s so sweet. We promote a daily quiet time here at Sweet Selah Ministries, like all the time, because the Bible tells us to meet with God all the time. So, manna in fact was given daily. They had to gather it daily. Psalm One tells us to meditate on God’s word day and night. And Jesus is often found praying and communing with his father. So we should too. That’s what we should do. So Nicole, what stops us from this daily time? Because even though we know we oughta, we don’t. A lot. What, what stops us?

Nicole (10:37):

I mean, almost anything can, it’s so easy to get distracted from praying. I think because praying requires a little bit of stillness and quiet in our minds and there are some days, you know, I feel like I wake up and my mind is already buzzing with all that I need to do.

Sharon (10:51):

Yes.

Nicole (10:51):

It’s so easy to jump into the day without remembering to pray and just keep letting the day carry us along. With all our families and friends, sometimes their needs feel so immediate and unavoidable.

Sharon (11:02):

True.

Nicole (11:02):

It can make it really hard to remember to pray. Or, I know there’s some times when I’m really struggling and God feels far away and it can seem like, you know, this big mountain to climb up to even talk to him. Yeah.

Sharon (11:14):

Right. You’re right. I agree. Some days our moods are not conducive to prayer at all. So if we don’t have a pattern and habit established, we’re not going to do it. That’s why habits are so important because they bring us to it whether we “feel like it” or not.

Nicole (11:28):

They kick it on those bad days.

Sharon (11:30):

Yes, exactly. Exactly. Well, I think it’s always wise to set the bar low, to start with. Let’s ask ourselves, could I give God my first available 10 minutes each day, whether that’s first thing or after the kids are on the school bus or before I take my shower? How about I trust him and give him just 10 minutes. If I have longer, great. But let’s not trip ourselves up with not doing it at all because we only have a little time and let’s at least get a 10 minute habit going. That’s what I always recommend people start with. You can get a lot of praying done and 10 verses of scripture in 10 minutes, it’s stunning how much you can do. And Satan says, oh, that’s not worth it. Yes it is. It’s so worth it. So, but back to Reason Number One. Reason Number One for developing a habit of prayer is that Jesus prayed regularly and he’s our example. Nicole, I also liked that when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he didn’t say something like, uh, you just do it. Like what a weird question to ask me. Like they ought to have known how to pray. No, he taught them. It’s okay to say, I don’t know how to do this, teach me. And he did. He did. And it’s so nice because now we get to learn from what he taught them too. We can learn so much from studying the Lord’s Prayer. It’s kind of, I think of it as a template for prayer. It’s an example of all the different types of prayer, kind of smushed into a very short prayer. So we’re going to break it down and learn from it.

Sharon (12:58):

I’ll start. But I want us to recite it first, the way most of us know it from church, Nicole, you know, the way you say it in a lot of more formal churches. So let’s bow our heads right now, you and me and say it together before we break it down. And friend who’s listening, if you are able, would you whisper it along with us? Here we go. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread and forgive us, our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen. I love that! I grew up on that. And those words, are just holy words to me, just beautiful. Okay. Well, another reason to develop the habit of prayer is nestled right into the first two words of the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father”. The first phrase teaches us so much, “Our Father who art in heaven”. God is the perfect father. He’s loving and protective. He’s available and welcoming. He is not like earthly fathers, cause no earthly father’s always available. Let’s face it. He’s the heavenly one. He only disciplines out of love and wisdom. Not out of anger and frustration. He’s tender with his little ones. How often should one want to hang out with a father like that? Like all the time since he’s the good dad. So Reason Number Two for developing a prayer habit is because we have the gift of a good father who always has time to listen to us and invites us to talk to him often. Oh my goodness.

Nicole (14:57):

When you think about it, if you’ve lived with your dad, you wouldn’t just talk to him like once a week, you know?

Sharon (15:03):

True. Yeah.

Nicole (15:03):

You’d talk to him all the time because you enjoy being with him and he was right there with you and we have God living inside of us. So when you think of it, that way, it seems like a little bit sad that we sometimes slight him and don’t talk to him all the time.

Sharon (15:17):

It sure is. It’s almost rude.

Nicole (15:18):

It is.

Sharon (15:19):

He’s right there.

Nicole (15:22):

And you know, taking the time to pray. It blesses us so much. You know, it’s not for, it’s not for his sake. He doesn’t need that. But for us, he knows that we do.

Sharon (15:31):

We need that connection.

Nicole (15:33):

Come talk to me. Yeah.

Sharon (15:34):

Yeah. And when we remember that he’s a good father, that he’s like, come here, tell me all about it. I’ve got all the time in the world because oh, I’m Eternal.

Nicole (15:42):

Right. I don’t have a busy day today, I can listen to you.

Sharon (15:42):

You know how we have to kind of rush to tell people things sometimes, you know, I’ll make a long story short?

Nicole (15:49):

Yes.

Sharon (15:50):

Well with God you can make short stories long.

Nicole (15:52):

Oh, that’s so nice.

Sharon (15:53):

Isn’t that sweet.

Nicole (15:54):

He could listen to me all day. He can!

Sharon (15:56):

And the rest of the world at the same time, which is like mind-blowing. Absolutely mind-blowing.

Nicole (15:59):

I know. That’s pretty crazy.

Sharon (16:01):

Oh my goodness. So, we develop the habit of prayer, first of all, because Jesus prayed. And we pray often also because we have the perfect one to talk to, our heavenly Father. So Nicole, what do we learn about prayer from the next phrases? “Hallowed, be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”?

Nicole (16:21):

Well, it’s neat, in this section, we see Jesus praising God first, before he asks for anything. I think praise should always be part of a prayer and we really should start with praise. It kind of helps us to remind ourselves of how great our God is and that, you know, before we come before him, to thank him before we ask. So I think that’s good.

Sharon (16:41):

Yes. Yes, it’s beautiful.

Nicole (16:42):

And then he asked God, ‘his kingdom come’. So I think he’s acknowledging God’s bigger plan, a bigger picture than just our tiny view of our own world or trouble. And then to declare that we want God’s will to be done is a great way to remember who’s in charge. It’s kind of like the surrendering to his will so that we don’t try to assert our own will in the prayer.

Sharon (17:01):

Yes. It’s good way to start with that before we get to what we’d like. You’re right. I love it.

Nicole (17:04):

It’s a good mindset before we start praying. I like how he laid that out.

Sharon (17:09):

Yeah. I think that’s so neat. Yeah. Well, reason number three for developing a prayer life then is that we need to surrender to his will daily. We really, really do. I find that the daily surrender keeps my heart willing and I literally say it, Lord, this is your day. Not mine. Thy will be done and do you know what? Sometimes it’s still hard to say it. I’ve gotta confess this, but if I say it daily, it keeps my heart soft. If I’m like asking for things that I’d like this to be done, like this to go this way, Lord, if you could just keep interruptions out of my way, I’m kind of busy today. You know, it’s almost like I’m dictating to him how I feel the day should roll.

Nicole (17:52):

Oh yes.

Sharon (17:52):

Yeah. So if we have that surrender prayer in there, that thy will be done, because what’s bigger than my will is like you said, the kingdom is so much bigger than just us. I think it makes a difference. So that’s really good.

Nicole (18:07):

Oh, it does, yeah.

Sharon (18:07):

Thank you. Well, our next reason for developing a habit of prayer is found in the next phrase, “Give us this day, our daily bread”, twice, this day, daily.

Nicole (18:18):

Hmm, interesting.

Sharon (18:19):

That doesn’t sound like something you’d do with a Sunday only, right?

Nicole (18:24):

Right.

Sharon (18:24):

Day daily. So each day we have to ask for the strength. I love reviewing my day ahead of time and I did it this morning, I sat on the couch early this morning cause I had to review the podcast and I just said, Oh, Lord, be with us, use our words, shut our mouths when we shouldn’t say something.

Nicole (18:41):

I pray that same prayer, it’s funny. Us word-y girls, we have to really let God filter!

Sharon (18:49):

Open them when they’re supposed to be and close them tight. So reason number four for developing a prayer life, God wants us to ask him daily for the things of the day, therefore there ought to be a, Oh, daily habit.

Nicole (19:03):

Yeah. It’s so neat. I recently read Psalm 37 and verse 23 says, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” How cool is that, Sharon?

Sharon (19:16):

I know.

Nicole (19:16):

I just love that. He tells us to ask for our daily needs and he really cares what they are. He’s not like, all right, tell me what you need… He, he delights in every detail. I just, I can’t imagine the God of the universe.

Sharon (19:27):

That word delight makes it feel so okay to talk to him about it, doesn’t it?

Nicole (19:32):

Yeah, just the little details. I just, I love that verse.

Sharon (19:34):

That’s beautiful.

Nicole (19:35):

So, the next part of scripture we’re going to talk about is, “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. This is a good section. So forgiveness is so very important for the believer. We really need to go to God quickly for forgiveness and restoration so we don’t distance ourselves from him in our sin. We also need to forgive rapidly and not let bitterness grow. So the prayer habit really helps for that too, you know? If we can take each bitter thought that we think and turn it into prayer, what a difference that would make in our own hearts.

Sharon (20:09):

So true, so true. Absolutely.

Nicole (20:10):

So we need to remember how much God has forgiven us for and forgive as freely. So reason number five, we need to forgive often so we don’t develop a hardened and bitter heart.

Sharon (20:20):

Amen. It’s kind of like the daily kind of thing of doing it so that it doesn’t add up. The same daily ‘Thy will be done’, the same daily, I forgive so-and-so, I know I said it yesterday, but I feel like some residual bitterness has crept back in. So I’m going to say it again today and I’m going to say it and I’m going to say it and I’m going to say it. I forgive, I forgive and help me forgive more.

Nicole (20:44):

Yeah. It’s almost like pulling out a weed before it gets too big, it’s easier.

Sharon (20:47):

Yes.

Nicole (20:47):

Even if they do it every day, it’s a little weed with little roots. But if it grows into this big mass, gnarly, thorny thing, you don’t want to take it out. It’s harder.

Sharon (20:55):

It’s too hard to take out. Right. And if it wraps around you, it hurts you when you tear it out.

Nicole (21:00):

Yeah, catch it quick, catch it early.

Sharon (21:02):

So this habit, you know, it’s such a good habit. And to forgive daily is as important as ‘thy will be done’ daily, and all this stuff. Oh my goodness, it’s so fun.

Nicole (21:13):

It is.

Sharon (21:13):

So well, a lot of manuscripts just end with the forgiveness. That’s their ending, but some add and I’m so glad they do, because this is such a glorious phrase. I love saying this, “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.” That’s just, it’s like we start with praise. We end with praise and acknowledgement. It’s all you Lord, and you are worthy of my praise today. So help me not to get so full of myself, that I forget you and how big you are. So, so I think the value in this part of the Lord’s Prayer is to remind ourselves that we come to him in prayer because he’s worthy of our time and our attention.

Nicole (21:57):

Yes.

Sharon (21:57):

He’s the King. He holds the power and yet he’s good with that power. He deserves all glory forever and ever for not only making us, but for saving us. So reason number six for developing a prayer habit is so that we give God the glory due his name. And you know, the sweet thing about honoring God this way, it brings me such a surge of joy. There’s something—, we were designed for worship.

Nicole (22:22):

We really were.

Sharon (22:23):

You know, and you know that from being on the worship team and praising and the, just the surge of joy that comes, you know, it’s for his glory, but somehow we get happy doing it. Right?

Nicole (22:34):

We really do. He blesses us so much in the process like, Oh! Well thank you, God. It’s like a bonus.

Sharon (22:38):

Yeah, like this is for you but like I’m surging with joy. Yeah, so it’s so all wrapped up.

Nicole (22:43):

So generous, you know.

Sharon (22:43):

It’s all happiness together. It’s really, really nice. So, anyways, all is right in my world when I praise him because I know who he is and that he is able to save and help me. And I know my little place, which is to walk with him. So reason number seven should be maybe because a prayer habit means we are daily feeling the joy of being right with God.

Nicole (23:07):

Oh, I like that. It sounds excellent.

Sharon (23:07):

Isn’t that fun? Yeah, it’s okay. I’m going to list the seven reasons now that we ought to develop a prayer habit. Number one, Jesus prayed regularly and he’s our example. Number two, we have the gift of a good Father who actually always has time to listen to us and invites us to talk to him often. Number three, we need to daily surrender to his will because we’re stubborn people. Number four, God wants us to ask daily for the things of that day. Number five, we need to forgive often so we don’t develop a hardened and bitter heart. Number six, so that we give God the glory due his name and number seven, a prayer habit means we are daily feeling the joy of being right with God. Aren’t those fun reasons?

Nicole (23:58):

Those are really great reasons.

Sharon (23:59):

I love those reasons.

Nicole (23:59):

Very convincing. Let’s do it.

Sharon (24:00):

Yes, yes, I need to tack them somewhere on my wall.

Nicole (24:03):

Yeah.

Sharon (24:05):

So, okay. So after he gives the Lord’s Prayer, Nicole, he tells this ‘crack me up’ funny story. Can you just review it for us and explain it a little bit because it’s a classic.

Nicole (24:15):

It’s so great.

Sharon (24:16):

I’ll bet people laughed when he told it too, you can just picture the man being so disgruntled.

Nicole (24:20):

Well it’s just so, you know, like you said about the little kids. Anyway, we’ll talk about it. It’s so funny. So he goes on to tell this story of a man who went to his neighbor’s house at midnight to borrow some bread from him because he had an unexpected visitor. They had nothing for him to eat. And in this story, the friend was like, oh, go away. We’re all locked in for the night and tucked cozy in our beds. But that man kept knocking and knocking, long enough that his friend finally got up and gave him whatever he needed, just because of his shameless persistence.

Sharon (24:47):

That’s so funny.

Nicole (24:48):

I like that phrase.

Sharon (24:49):

He’s kind of telling us, you may have shameless persistence with me.

Nicole (24:53):

Yes. Isn’t that such a beautiful gift? To freely ask him persistently for something.

Sharon (24:57):

Yes, and not feeling ashamed. Just please, please keep knocking.

Nicole (25:02):

Banging on that door, waking up that guy and his family in their bed. Oh, so Jesus closes this story with telling us to keep on asking and we will receive, keep on seeking, keep on knocking and that door will be open to you. I know we’ve talked about this on the podcast before about praying for something for a very long time and how we can lose hope or become discouraged. But Jesus is encouraging us here to keep on praying because we may not see the work that he’s doing because of our prayers. Jesus is urging us to pray persistently.

Sharon (25:34):

He sure is. Shamelessly persistent.

Nicole (25:37):

Shamelessly persistently. That’s a great phrase.

Sharon (25:40):

I love it. I love it and I have actually used that with God when l prayed, you know, for 40 plus years for Dad Gamble, I’d say, and here I am knocking again. It’s been 35 years or however long it had been at that point. Here I am knocking again. You tell me to knock. I’m not going to stop. And then I had times when my girls were not walking closely with the Lord and it was heartbreaking, you know, and you know that you want all four of your precious ones to always love Jesus. And if they have a rebellious time and they wander away, you’re going to be shamelessly persistent. You’re going to be knocking and knocking and knocking and knocking. And I don’t completely understand the why of that. But he, he tells that in a couple of different stories, he tells it here in this one.

Nicole (26:27):

Yes.

Sharon (26:28):

And then there’s the persistent widow who knocks, which is another story where there’s a judge that isn’t even a nice judge, but he finally gives into her because he’s sick of her knocking. And Jesus says, if a bad judge would do this, how much more is God who is good, going to hear you when you knock. But it sometimes takes a while. And I wonder if part of it, Nicole, is that he wants humans to come to him genuinely, like when I’m praying for a rebellious child. And he could, he actually chooses never to force someone to come to him. And I can say, make Dad Gamble, love you. Right? But God is going to slowly peel away the layers of indifference, the layers that he’s built up against. In Dad Gamble’s case it took decades. But every time I prayed, I believe something happened. Some tiny something got peeled away.

Nicole (27:26):

Right.

Sharon (27:26):

You know, so I’m going to knock until I’m dead and then I’m alive again in heaven. And I don’t know what happens then.

Nicole (27:33):

I know. These stories are so good. I think sometimes that I feel if you pray and you don’t receive an answer, you think, well, maybe I shouldn’t have prayed for that. Or maybe it was the wrong thing. Or maybe I didn’t ask right? So these stories are so encouraging.

Sharon (27:45):

Aren’t they?

Nicole (27:45):

It’s like, keep asking, keep asking, keep being persistent, because God is doing a work. And I love that he invites us to continue to pray for. You know, like you said to come before him honestly and genuinely and pray for what’s on our heart. He won’t turn us away.

Sharon (27:57):

Absolutely. We can always ask. It’s wonderful. And that persistence does good. I’m not sure exactly how, because prayer is a mystery.

Nicole (28:07):

It is. It’s a bit of a mystery.

Sharon (28:07):

It’s a real mystery, but it does good.

Nicole (28:09):

Even in our own hearts, as we’re praying consistently.

Sharon (28:12):

Yes, yes.

Nicole (28:13):

We forget that God is working in our hearts, when we’re praying daily for something.

Sharon (28:17):

Yes. Exactly. And sometimes the nature of our prayers change too over the years, you know? I tend to suggest less on how God ought to do it and just say, look, just get him saved.

Nicole (28:30):

Do your work!

Sharon (28:30):

Yep, you know what’s best. So anyways, well let’s pray. Oh, heavenly Father, maybe there’s someone listening today who has prayed and prayed and knocked and knocked and is so discouraged, would you specifically encourage her today to not give up, to keep praying Father? Thank you for saying you just keep coming to me, child. And if you ask for an egg, I’m not going to give you a scorpion. So help us to ask wisely in accordance with your will. Yes. But help us to ask in faith, believing that you hear our prayers and you are working. Oh, Lord, may we develop the habit, the holy habit of praying consistently to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Nicole (29:25):

Amen. Well, friends, we now have two daily habits to work on. A small daily time of prayer and a small daily time of reading God’s Word. Please, don’t let Satan make you feel guilty if all you have is a few minutes and don’t feel condemned if you aren’t doing this yet. Remember God is merciful. He gives us lots of chances. Let’s just keep trying to put him first. And after a while, it really will become a habit. Speaking of new habits, Sharon and I have had so much fun creating our podcast partner news email each month. We’d love for you to get a copy. If you’d like to become a podcast partner, go to SweetSelah.org/donations and sign up for the monthly donation of any amount and write ‘podcast partner’ in the comments. Join the group of folks who support this podcast. It’s a great group. Thanks for listening and do come back next week for episode 51, Developing a Rest Habit. Well, that sounds interesting. Until then have a great week in the Lord.

Speaker 1 (30:28):

We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. This Sweet Selah Moments podcast is a co-operative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast can be found@sweetselah.org. Thank you for joining us.

 

You can download and print the transcript here.

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