We are going to look at a few verses of Scripture in the eleventh chapter of the Gospel of Luke. These are familiar verses, but I want us to see them differently this time. Lord, let these verses come alive to us in a new way. Amen.
Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
One of the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. John had taught his disciples to pray and so they wanted Jesus to teach them how to pray, too. Praying is speaking. We usually relate praying only to our speaking to God and that in the terms of requesting things we want Him to do. It is interesting that as Jesus teaches His disciples to pray His emphasis is not on the mechanics of prayer but on the state of their hearts. He teaches them how to speak from a “certain place.”
Jesus’ method of teaching was to do and teach (Acts 1:1). He does it and then He teaches His disciples what He did. Here, in our text, Jesus was praying in a certain place, and lo, wonder of wonders, suddenly the disciples wanted to learn how to pray. He did it and now He was going to teach them – not just to pray, but to speak from a certain place. The first step to speaking effectively is to speak from a certain place. As you have probably already discerned, I am not speaking of a certain locality. The certain place is a certain spiritual place. In other words, effective praying or speaking is determined by the spiritual state of your heart. So Jesus is going to teach His disciples much more than the words they should say.
Notice that this first verse begins And it came to pass… Jesus refers to what He is going to do as something that is already done. That is the way the Lord speaks. He calls those things which be not as though they were (Romans 4:17). Do you think we should learn to speak that way? Listen to what God said through Isaiah. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. Isaiah 65:24. Can you believe that you have what you speak while you are speaking or before you speak? If you are in that “certain place”, then what you are speaking was placed in your heart by the Lord and it is what He wants to come to pass.
Luke 11:2 And He said unto them, When you pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name! Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
This verse is the beginning of what is called the Lord’s Prayer. It is usually spoken by rote, which is not the “certain place” we need to be when praying. Our attitude or spiritual position when we pray is extremely important. For example, when we pray “Hallowed be Thy name,” we are not asking merely for His name to be hallowed apart from us. We want His name to be hallowed in us. That is the “certain place”! We want His name to be hallowed in us! We want His kingdom to come forth in us. We want His will to be done in us! When the first commandment says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me,” He is mystically saying, “Thou shalt have no other god living in you.”
Luke 11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
From the “certain place” we understand this to mean more than our daily food. The Lord Jesus Christ is the “bread of life” from heaven. And Jesus said, I am the bread of life: the one coming to Me shall never hunger; and the one believing into Me will never thirst. John 6:35. So when we pray for our daily bread we are not praying for our natural food; we are praying for our daily life-diet of the Lord. Our “certain place” understanding takes even that out of the self-realm. We want our daily bread of His life so we can become bread for someone else. We must have His life ministering through us!
Luke 11:4 And forgive the sins of us; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
If we are going to be those who partake of the Living Bread and minister Him to others, then we must be overcomers of our self-nature. Sins committed come out of a sinful nature. So we ask the Lord to forgive the sinfulness of our flesh nature and to deliver us from the evil of it.
Luke 11:5-6 And He said unto
them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and
say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves:
6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
This is why we pray for our daily bread. A friend on his journey is in need of the living bread. The journey is a spiritual journey. He is on a spiritual journey of spiritual growth, a journey that should bring him into spiritual maturity. The bread he needs is a living Word, a Word that enhouses the life of the Lord.
There is a reason why the man is asking for three loaves. A living Word sets a table for all ages. Within the living Word is spiritual food for all. There is milk for the babes, bread for the children, and meat for the young men.
Luke 11:7-8 And he from
within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my
children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give you.
8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needs.
The man whose door is closed typifies God, for only He can give the living bread. Jesus presents God in this way again in Luke 18:1-8 as the unjust judge. It is not that God is reluctant to give us living bread; rather, He wishes to create intensity in our prayer. The “certain place” God wants us when we seek Him is a place of intensity. You shall seek Me, and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13. Again, in the New Testament: The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the Kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it. Luke 16:16. While the man behind the closed door would not rise for a friend, yet because of his importunity – his shameless persistence – he gave him all that he needed.
Now, if you think God is going to bless you with the bread of life simply because you ask for it, you will be greatly surprised. And if you say, “Well, if God wants me to have the bread of life, He will give it to me”, you will never receive it. There is a door between you and God’s bread of life. What are you going to do about that door? Knock on it until you knock it down! God wants to know you really want Him in you. Now, there is something you need to know about the door that separates you from Him. The door is your flesh. The wall that separates you from God is your own self. That is why you need to be intense. It is not God you have to overcome; it is your own self-life.
Luke 11:9-10 And I say unto
you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it
shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that ask receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.
The thought of shameless intensity continues here. The Greek reads: Ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on knocking. Again, I remind you that it is not God’s reluctance you have to overcome but the reluctance of your own self to enter into the “certain place” that God wants you.
Luke 11:11-13 If a son shall
ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he
asks a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he give him a scorpion?
13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?
The goodness of God and His willingness to give must be the foundation of our importunity. If you do not understand the goodness of God and His willingness to bless you, you could get bogged down in the asking, seeking, and knocking. Jesus said unto them, Have the faith of God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be removed, and be cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he says. Therefore I say unto you, what things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you have them, and you shall have them. Mark 11:22-24. When you really try to live this it won’t take long to realize how much unbelief is in your heart. That is the mountain that has to be removed – your unbelief! You keep asking and keep seeking and keep knocking until you really believe. You will need a battering ram to knock down the wall of unbelief, and that battering ram is the revelation of God’s willingness to give you all things. He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32. It is from this “certain place” that we must pray.
Luke 11:14 And He was casting out a demon, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the demon was gone out, the dumb spoke; and the people wondered.
My Bible has the little symbol for a new paragraph at the beginning of this verse. Now this little symbol was not placed there by Luke; it was added much later by the King James translators. So we are not going to look at this verse as beginning a new subject. This verse tells us what Jesus was doing in the first thirteen verses of this chapter. The disciples did not know how to pray. They were, in a sense, dumb. As it was with the disciples, it is the unbelief of our demonized flesh nature that keeps us from praying and speaking effectively. Jesus is not just teaching us how to say a prayer in these verses. He is revealing the “certain place” we need to be and how to overcome our unbelief.
Copyright © 2005 by Henry DuBose