Jesus came to reveal the name and nature of his Father to us! The Son’s great desire is to explain the Father to us, so that we too delight in the Father, we too love the Father, we too, trust the Father the way Jesus does! He came to point us toward, and focus us on the one he calls ABBA, the one the rest of New Testament calls the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ!
So my question is always this, ‘What does Jesus know about the Father that I apparently do not?’ What does Jesus know about the Father that would motivate me to ‘want to pray?’
After teaching the disciples how and what to pray in the Lord’s prayer, Luke 11:1-4, he shares with us a parable about his Father, the one we are praying too!
Luke 11:5-13, “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, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 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’? 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. 9 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. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 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!”
First tradition has often said that this parable calls us to persistence, and second that this parable is about the the one asking for bread. However, the parable is actually about the Father, the one being asked! In the Greek text the word persistence is best rendered shamelessness. The one in the house is said to be ‘shameless.’ One of the key cultural values in the middle-east is the avoidance of shame. In a middle eastern context, shame is a negative quality while avoiding shame is a positive quality. This is not shame in the sense that something is fundamentally wrong with me, but shame in the sense of not wanting to ‘loose face’ or bring damage to one’s reputation. The man in the house will get up, not because his friend came asking at midnight but because of his wanting to avoid shame! He would never want the rumor to go out in the village that when someone came asking, the person was turned away.
Jesus is revealing to us the nature of the Shameless Father! He always acts in ways that honor his Name! What is his name, his reputation? It is YHWH, I am who I am! YHWH is his covenant name, ‘I will be your God, you will be my people.’ In the relational sense, he means, ‘I am the one who is there with you and for you! All that I am I place at your disposal!’ Jesus is saying, ‘My Father will always act in ways that honor his name!” God has gone public with the name, he has placed this name on his people, I am there with you and for you!
“For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself” (I Sam 12:22).
He placed his name on you and I and will not dishonor it! It was God’s good pleasure to join you to himself in such a way that his name is at stake in your destiny….what happens to you affects his name! I give you myself and I will not dishonor it!
Jesus says next in the text, ‘ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on knocking!’ It is not a call to persistence, as though we have to wear God down. It’s not about persistence – it is an assurance. Ask, seek, knock – because something always happens. Jesus is saying that “the one who keeps on asking is receiving, the one who keeps on seeking is finding.” Something always happens!The Father and Son have gone public with the promise to give the Spirit, called the promise of the Father! The Father will not be shamed. He is a good Father and will give good gifts to his children!
Can you imagine going to God the Father in the name of God the Son and asking for more of the power or joy of the Holy Spirit and be told to go away? No Jesus says, ‘it is impossible!’ The Father will get up and give you as much of himself as you need and as you desire! As in the parable of the prodigal son, the Father lavishes his love on you and I even in our weakness! He sees us a long way off, has compassion on us, runs to us and embraces us. He literally throws himself upon us! Let’s ask the Father for a mighty Hug in the Spirit today!
In the verses just preceding the parable, Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven…hallowed be your name.” Father let your Name (Shameless Father) be treated as infinitely valuable here on the earth as it is in heaven! Father, we ask that you vindicate your name in our community, make yourself known! Father, “Show us Your Glory,” for your names sake!
Father of the Fatherless, sets the lonely in families,
I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy.
He is the righteous judge!
Defends the defenseless and gives voice to voiceless!
Prayer for the sake of his NAME!
We come to you not of any righteousness of our own Lord. We have turned away from You. We have rebelled and lifted up our fist in Your face and promoted the very things that are against your word, when you’ve said “wo to those who call good evil and evil good.” Yet because of Your great covenant love-Your mercies that are new every morning-we come and we plead the blood of Jesus over our sins and the sins of our nation, God end abortion and send revival to America. Jesus I plead Your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation, God end abortion and send revival to America. Jesus I plead Your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation, God end abortion and send revival to America.
Awaken this nation to Your son! We cry out for mercy, send revival and rend the heavens. Lord we, as sons and daughters of America are the offspring of revival fathers and mothers and of a history of awakenings. You said in Your word You will pour out your spirit on our offspring. I ask Lord, in the mist of wrath remember mercy and send a baptism of the Holy Sprit to the youth of America that has never been seen. I am asking pour out your spirit on our offspring. Among the millions of thirsty, pour out water on the dry ground.
Baptize our children in the Holy Spirit. I pray once again, release the tongue of fire that can’t be restrained by political leaders and can’t be restrained by professors at universities. Release the tongue of fire; release the baptism of the Holy Spirit and let them spring up all across America in the name of Jesus. God, send revival!”
Jason wrote to us, ” I do sense the Lord wants to reveal his Father’s heart in Australia this next year!” Our Father is our focus for the National Day of Prayer & Fasting 2 March 2019 and 40 Day Prayer Relay 6 March – 14 April 2019. Register now www.40daysofprayer.org.au www.nationaldayofprayer.org.au