Embarrassingly Shameless

The Righteous are Bold as a Lion Proverbs 28:1

The Righteous are Bold as a Lion Proverbs 28:1

If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, you are righteous. He has already declared over our lives we are the righteousness of God. If God’s Word says that we are bold as a lion, then I believe God will give us the boldness whatever circumstances we find ourselves. I’m going to be bold until it comes to prayer with God because when I come to God, maybe I’m just not as important to him because God knows what I did last night.

Some believe God will not hear our prayers because God knows what we did when we were younger. Maybe God will not to hear our prayers because we were not good enough, or He’s just too busy or has other issues to deal with. I want to remind you this morning: you are a child of God. You are the apple of God’s eye. God cares about everything about you. Everything about you is a big deal to God because you are a big deal to God. You are important. You are the apple of his eye.

He cares about nobody else in this world more than He cares about you. You are His favorite! I have seven children at home, and I love each one the most and the best individually. They’re always the best. They’re intelligent, they’re beautiful, and I love them more than anything ever. They all have different talents and different skills, but I love them so much and nothing they can do can separate the love I have for them. 

I love them differently. Some of them are quieter, some of them are boastful, some of them run up the stairs, some of them walk up the stairs, but I love them just the same. And each one of them are my favorite, and I tell them they are my favorite. No one child is the same, but each one is my favorite. 

You are God’s favorite child. Renew your mind and declare, “I am God’s favorite child!” A confidence and a boldness will rise, and with that confidence and boldness, Jesus taught us it is with that we should pray. He taught it is with embarrassing shamelessness that we are to approach the throne room of God.  

In Luke 11, His disciples come to Jesus. They’ve been seeing Jesus pray. They have heard him pray. They’re a little bit envious because John the Baptist has been teaching his students how to pray, and Jesus hasn’t covered the subject yet. They see Jesus praying and when He finishes, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray. John is teaching his students how to pray. Stop all this praying by yourself. Teach us the secret!”(paraphrased from Luke 11:1)

What was John the Baptist’s curriculum on prayer? It was not written. It was experienced. John knew Jesus was the son of God. He knew the story of his mother and Jesus’s mother when they both were pregnant and how he leaped in his mother’s wound as she came close to Mary carrying the Messiah in her womb. John knew Jesus as the Messiah probably since playing in the yard as childhood cousins and friends. He knew of the One whom he was crying aloud and sparing not as he prepared the way of the Lord. John knew one day Jesus would be hanging on the cross to take away the sins of the world and the cross would reconcile us back with God.  Most importantly, he knew because of the cross we would be able to walk boldly into the Throne Room of God.

John the Baptist’s students had received this curriculum and they were learning to pray. Yet, Jesus’s students are walking with the Messiah, watching Him pray and perform miracles; signs, and wonders are taking place. They don’t care about the wonders. They don’t ask Jesus to teach them how to do miracles. They simply want to know this simple act of prayer – the act which bring Jesus power and boldness in his ministry and daily life. 

Moved by their desire to learn, Jesus sits them down to teach them how to pray. Yet, when one learns the lesson which Jesus taught his students to pray thus teaching us how to pray, it runs against the grain of religion, history, and Christian polity.  It is bold. It is daring. It is in God’s face. It moves our faith. It moves us. 

Jesus gives them a model prayer, taking the long prayers done in the temple and condensing it down into a small, simple prayer.  Today, it is called “The Lord’s Prayer.” Yes, the Lord’s Prayer, known by memorization and usually by the King James Version, as a prayer which is not ours. It is, however, known as the Lord’s.  Jesus didn’t call it the Lord’s prayer. Man did. 

The verbs in the prayer are what’s called in the Greek “the imperative command,” present tense. This means urgent. It’s immediate or right now. This is how it should be in the Bible:

Our Father, our Daddy, God who is in heaven. Your name must at once be made holy. 

Your kingdom must now come. Your will must be done right now as it is in heaven also on earth. 

You must now give us today the things necessary for our existence. 

You must right now forgive our sins for us, in the same manner as we have completed forgiving everyone of everything, big and little, against us.

But you must now rescue us from the evil one. 

It is intense, urgent and demanding the necessary right now. I am sure the disciples’ minds were blown. Jesus just taught them how to pray – a prayer life which could get them killed.

And then Jesus, the Master Storyteller, gives them a scenario and puts them, and thus us, in the story.  It is recorded in the Luke 11: 

“Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 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.”

The words shameless audacity is easy to read over, and though we may have read it many times, we believe we know what Jesus is saying. Yet, when we stop and meditate on it, we can get a full glimpse of this whole story which Jesus wanted to show us about prayer. 

The words shameless audacity have been hard to transcribe for Bible scholars for years. It messes up our cute, nice-looking faith and makes faith dirty and undignified. Some have transcribed this an importunity, others as boldness, and others have simply transcribed it as persistence. Yet, it literally means embarrassingly shameless

Jesus teaches us when we go to God to be embarrassingly shameless with our needs, requests, petitions, wants, desires, and our lives. He is basically saying to lose your mind when you talk to God. 

When you pray, you are to be bold. Be confident. Be assertive and convinced.  Knowing as you pray, you are praying to Daddy God.  If He created the mountains, the seas, the earth, and the universe, how much more will He move those things to answer the prayers of His beloved favorite son or daughter. Lose your dignity. 

Lose your pride. 

Lose the mindset that your Heavenly Father doesn’t have time for your needs. 

Be bold.

Be daring. 

Dust off the adventurous and audacious things you have been wanting to pray and ask God for, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime as your prayer life begins to skyrocket.

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