Today’s reading is Luke 11.
Jesus loved to pray. It was his regular practice to go to a secluded place and spend time with His Heavenly Father. The ones closest to Jesus had seen Him take time to do this often.
Could you imagine being there when Jesus spoke to His Heavenly Father? Hearing Him talk to God, not in a formal religious formula, but in a close and intimate conversation? Watching Jesus and His time of communion with God the Father was enough to spark curiosity within one of the disciples, probably more than just curiosity, a hunger. “Lord, teach us to pray…” (verse 1). Jesus then gave His disciples the model prayer, what we often call, “The Lord’s Prayer” or some call, “The Our Father.” This prayer was meant to be an outline of prayer for His disciples to follow: worship, prayer for needs, repentance and forgiveness, prayers for guidance, etc.
Today what is highlighted to me in our reading is the section of verses following it. Jesus told another parable- a short story with a spiritual point or application. This story tells of the interaction of a man in need and his friend who was reluctant to help. This “friend” did not want to be bothered with the needs of his friend who came to him at midnight needing three loaves of bread to feed his surprise visitor. But the friend with the need persists. He keeps knocking and asking until the man in bed gets up and gives the man in need the bread he needed. Jesus goes on to talk about a son asking his dad for a fish to eat. Would the dad give him a snake to eat? Or instead of an egg, a scorpion? (Verses 11-12). Then Jesus says something profound, ““If 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!”” (Verse 13)
How often the disciples had watched the religious leaders of their time approach God with rigidness! God was spoken to with formula prayers and He was viewed as unapproachable, perhaps even, aggravated, as the man in the parable was , that the people had come. But Jesus told His disciples, His Father was not that way! He longed to give “good gifts.” And the most precious gift of all the gift of the Holy Spirit living within them! All that was required of them was to come and to ask!
Our God is the same today, yesterday, and forever! He isn’t a God hidden from us, only accessible through formula prayers and religious rituals. He isn’t irritated when we come to Him with our needs. He so desires us to come! He desires to give us the gift of the Holy Spirit living within us. He eagerly waits for us to do just what Jesus modeled in this chapter, spend time with Him in prayer. He longs for us to come to Him and to ask!
God displayed the lengths He would go to be a part of our lives so we would “come.”The Christmas story displays this all so well. God broke the silence when He sent an Angel to Mary to tell her she would conceive and give birth, by the Holy Spirit, God’s Son, God with us!
Once again God longs to break the silence in our lives! He longs to give us another gift just as He did at the first Christmas, the Holy Spirit- God living within us! May we come to Him and ask!