Guest Minister, Rev. Kimberly Brown Barnes, Pastor, Gethsemane AME
Metropolitan AME Church
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Scripture Lesson, Luke 11:1-13 – Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer. 1One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2He said to them, “When you pray, say: ” ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3Give us each day our daily bread. 4Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’ ” 5Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7″Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. 9″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. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 11″Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” NIV Translation
The word “shameless” generally is not considered to have a positive connotation. But in a story captured in the scripture text, Jesus reminds us in the text that we are to be shamelessly persistent in our prayer requests to God. In the text, Jesus’ disciples walking with Jesus, but they are still in need of direction. Jesus uses a story to illustrate the importance of being persistent in our prayer lives.
1. We need to stand our ground. In the scripture text, a man came to his neighbor seeking assistance. In those days, people lived in small homes with elevated floors; the father of the family slept upstairs with the whole family. Once they went to bed, there was no getting back up, because it would wake up the entire family. The message of the scripture is that sometimes, in our faith walk, we need to stand our ground. We need to keep praying for our families and our loved ones; we need to stand our ground in whatever situation we find ourselves in.
2. We need to be tenacious. In our faith walk, we need to be tenacious and we need to seek God. And we ought not to be ashamed to shed tears for Him. In the story, we see friends who fall short in fulfilling a need, and we see a God who NEVER falls short. God will fulfill our needs, but we need to keep knocking. We need to shamelessly persist so that we can feed the hungry, clothe the naked. We need workers in our congregation. Let us shamelessly pray to God for some help. We need to fast together; we need to pray together as children of God; we need to shamelessly persist in our faith walk.
3. We need to be obedient. Finally, as we seek God, we’ve got to be open to God’s response. We have to be obedient to what God says. We need to be willing to wake some folks up. Jesus is teaching the disciples to be open to the responsibility that comes with obedience. We need to be obedient in responding to God, even if we have to come broken, we need to walk through that door, and we need to stand our ground.
At Metropolitan, some folks think we are crazy to be going through a restoration in the midst of a recession. But we are going to shamelessly persist; we are going to fast and pray, because a spiritual restoration is coming our way!
- Sermon Notes: When Mountains Loom Larger Than Faith
- Sermon Notes: God Prevails in Our Desolate Places
- Sermon Notes: When God Goes to Work in a Life
- Sermon Notes: Wow, Look at God!
- Sermon Notes: I Just Can’t Help Myself!
Tags: Rev. Kimberly Barnes, Sermon Notes