The Sippy Cup
Mike’s recent sermon encourages me to consider afresh the role of God as father. One thing I thought about yesterday in my quiet time is the role of prayer in our relationship with our Father. By way of an example, I would like you to consider the point Jesus makes when the disciples ask him to teach them to pray. Rather than giving them instructions he gives the disciples an abbreviated version of a longer Jewish prayer that we have memorized and recited as the Lord’s prayer. While there is nothing wrong with reciting this prayer, since it contains 57 words that have changed the world, the point I want to make is the fact that Jesus changes the whole focus with his response. The disciples want to know how to pray and Jesus reminds them to whom they are praying.
Notice in Luke 11 Jesus gives several examples. First he illustrates that the neighbor helped at midnight because of persistence or nerve or outrageous boldness. The Bible says shameless audacity!
“I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.” Luke 11:8
Then Jesus reminds us that our heavenly father is even more likely to give good things to his children than human parents are (which is highly likely). It is just like the “sippy cup”! When kids are thirsty and their juice runs dry they assume their parents will take care of filling it back up or having a back up! They do not wait to ask and they do not hesitate to make their needs known, often loudly and impatiently, Requests start and are constant. Kids have the shameless audacity to ask their parents for anything and everything they want because they believe that their parents have and will take care of them and that all they need to do is ask. Jesus, similarly, focuses on the One we pray to rather than any formula to get our prayers answered. We are to be childlike in our prayers going to our Father with shameless audacity, BECAUSE HE IS OUR FATHER (rather than just to get the request answered)! Kids request things of their parents and not just anyone! Yes God answers prayers but Jesus wants to remind us of who we are talking to and to ask with shameless audacity. Prayer is the opportunity to step into the kingdom story and show that we are a cooperative participant, trustworthy with God’s power.