Tag Archives: Experiencing God

The Father Wants You To Ask

Prayer is a marvelous thing. It is deeply challenging and many of us find it difficult to do. In Luke 11:1-13 Jesus gives us a little insight into what he thinks about prayer. Take just a moment and read what he has to say,

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them,“When you pray, say:
 
“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
 
And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks fora fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Typically, we focus on what is known as the “Lord’s Prayer”. However, I want to shift our focus to the last sentence. “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” What a remarkable sentence. Jesus statement here, I think, gives us some important insights into prayer.

First, we struggle to pray because we think of our context as people. We know our own hearts and we think God’s heart must be similar. We know how frustrated we get when people are standing at our door knocking and asking for “three loaves” in the middle of the night. Our own sense of self shapes our view of God. We think God must get as annoyed as we do when people start “begging” him for stuff.

Second, we struggle to pray because we don’t really want what the heavenly Father is offering. A good gift, according to Jesus, is the Holy Spirit. We don’t really want the Holy Spirit. We know that if we begin to engage with the Holy Spirit then our lives just might be changed. We may have to do things and experience things that we don’t really want to. We may have to be kinder, we may have to suffer, we may have to choose joy instead of anger. What we don’t understand is that the Holy Spirit really is the best gift that the Father can give us. It is the Holy Spirit who leads us into truth and righteousness. He is the one who brings about our transformation into greater Christ-likeness.

Prayer is overwhelming for the believer. We are interacting with the one who is wholly other. When we pray we are talking to the God of the universe and we know he listening. Jesus makes it clear that the Father wants us to pray and that when we do he knows how to give us good gifts. May we humbly and joyously come to our Father without any fear, knowing that he loves and cares for us.

Share about your experience of prayer in the comments.

Rest and Work

There are few narratives in the Bible that are as endearing as Mary and Martha. We’ve all been there. We are working our tails off and our sibling is sitting around doing nothing. It’s so frustrating. It drives us crazy. We want Mom or Dad to step in and make things fair. As they continued… Continue Reading

Perspective Shift

The Antioch Movement is all about multiplication and discipleship. It’s who we are. Our identity as a people is wrapped up those two things. If we are not about discipleship and multiplication then we may as well fold up and go home. Those four sentences are easy to write, easy to say, but really hard to… Continue Reading

The Power of Not Meeting

Sunday was a night of chaos. The storms that blew in to Ypsilanti were crazy. Trees, power lines, and port-a-johns were all fair game for the 70 mph winds. Right now we have people who drive in from all over the area for our gathering. Our gatherings are sweet and full of life for all… Continue Reading

Doubt on Tap – It’s Not About The Beer

Recently there have been many posts around the internet talking about beer and faith. They’ve talked about how churches are using the tavern to bring the gospel to people far from God. It’s been interesting to see the push back from folks in the church world over some of these things. I was first introduced… Continue Reading

Living It

This past Sunday night was a different one for the Antioch Movement. We gathered for a meal (that’s normal) and we gathered around the Lord’s table (that’s normal) but in between we did something that was odd. We took out our calendars and put a couple of dates down. Typically in between dinner and communion… Continue Reading

The Day The Government Shut Down

When I logged in to Facebook today there was one topic on everyone’s mind: the impending shut down of the government. The responses ranged from cynicism, to concern, to fear. Then I read this: Post by Todd Waller. I think Todd’s on to something. The overwhelming negative responses to the government shut down come from… Continue Reading

Sticks and Stones…

Growing up I was pretty chubby. Actually, I’m still pretty chubby. Middle School and the beginning of high school was pretty brutal for a chubby kid. I got teased. Today we would call it “bullying” but, it really was kids being kids. I was overweight, didn’t have many friends, and so I was teased. It’s… Continue Reading

Welcome to the Desert

For forty days Jesus was tempted in the desert. We typically don’t think about the reality that he was tempted for forty days. We usually just read the narrative and consider the three specific temptations that are listed there: And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty… Continue Reading

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