Sunday School Notes 7-19-2015

God’s goodness in our prayer

Luke 11:5-13

Opening Questions

  • Review what we learned about prayer last week.
  • Does God always answer our prayer?
    • Yes, but do we always recognize that answer?
  • Do you think God answers our prayers for our good?

Luke 11:5-13 (HCSB)

He also said to them: “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don’t have anything to offer him.’ Then he will answer from inside and say, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his friend’s persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? 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?”

Jesus tells a hypothetical story of someone who is in need and goes to his friend for help.

  • What was the friend’s response?
    • He did not want to go out of his way to help
    • What eventually caused the friend in the story to help, giving as much as needed?
      • The persistence of the one in need.
    • Jesus told the disciples this story after telling them how to pray.
      • What reason do you think Jesus had for telling this story?
        • We will find out in verse 13
        • He was comparing God’s answer to prayer with mankind’s answer to the needs of others.
        • Here he reveals that people hold back.

Nevertheless, Christ encourages His disciples to be persistent as they ask, search and knock.

  • What promise does Christ make to the disciples?
    • Everyone who asks receives
    • Everyone who searches finds
    • To the one who knocks the door will be open
  • Here, Christ begins to contrast between the way God answers our prayer and the way people answer our needs.

What kind of gifts does Christ say an earthly father seeks to give his children?

  • Good gifts
  • Gifts to prosper them and not to harm them
  • Yet, he still calls these fathers evil (because of the sin in them).

After this, Christ finally mentions the heavenly Father.

  • “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?”
  • The message here is that God is not like people.
  • An earthly father desires to give good gifts to his children. God desires to give good gifts even more so!
  • People are resistant to meet the needs of other people, but God is not like people. He promises that our prayers will be answered, especially so concerning the filling of the Holy Spirit!

What does this reveal God?

  • Unlike people, God yearns to give us gifts!
  • He promises to answer our prayers!
  • His doors are never locked!
  • His gifts to us are for our good and not to harm us.
  • He will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!
    • What does it mean for us to have the Holy Spirit?
    • It means that we have given our lives to God and now have a relationship with Him.
    • Romans 10:9
    • The Spirit always remains with us, to guide us and encourage us in this life.

What does God desire from us?

  • He wants us to pursue Him.
  • He wants us to be confident in His gifts.
    • If He does not give us something, it really is for our good.
  • He wants us to be honest with Him about the things we want and need.
  • God is honored when we come to Him even with our wants and He desires to give us good gifts!
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