Why Pray? — A LifeWords Devotion - Hope 103.2

Why Pray? — A LifeWords Devotion

Prayer for us is ultimately an expression of helpless reliance on God. There is both peace and relief when we cling to God and realise He is the only one that can help us.

By David ReayFriday 22 Jan 2021LifeWords DevotionalsDevotionsReading Time: 2 minutes

Luke 11:5-8

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, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ 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.’ 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. (NLT)

Like other stories told by Jesus, we can easily misunderstand what he is telling us. We get bogged down in the details. We might imagine this story is all about our nagging God into giving us what we want. Like whining children, we eventually wear him down and get what we ask for. This can’t be right. It overrules God’s sovereignty. It makes prayer a marathon feat of endurance.

So what is the point of the story and of prayer? We get a clue from what were the rules for hospitality in those times. If someone turned up you were compelled to feed them. You could not just turn them away or plead poverty. So this householder didn’t just have a desire for a few loaves, he had an absolute need of them. He had to have them, and he had to fling himself on the goodwill of his neighbour to get them.

Prayer for us is ultimately an expression of helpless reliance on God. We can’t get by without it just as the householder couldn’t get by without the bread. Prayer is not an optional extra. Nor is it a shopping list of our personal wishes. And it is certainly not an exercise in persistent nagging masquerading as faith.

It is our way of saying we need help, and our way of acknowledging that our God is the source of our help.

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