Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:10-11
Our own urgent needs should be enough to make us pray. But as if that were not enough, Jesus uses a beautiful illustration from family life to coax us to pray. Even a problem child wouldn’t receive a snake instead of a fish from his parents. With this illustration, Jesus is saying, “Your human nature is corrupt. You aren’t nearly as good as God, but you still give your children good gifts. Because God, your heavenly Father, is perfect, won’t he also give you good things if you ask him?” If we take this illustration to heart, we will want to pray.
Yet when we understand what God says in his Word, begin to live accordingly to it, and teach it to others, we’ll face many temptations and frequent opposition. Our sinful nature is an enemy of prayer. It quickly becomes bored, careless, and indifferent to what God says and the good life he gives us. For this reason, we will never have as much wisdom, knowledge of God’s Word, faith, love, or patience as we should. Every day our sinful nature hangs around and drags us away from prayer. The world is also an enemy of prayer. It’s so envious that we have faith and God’s precious Word that it refuses to put up with any of it, no matter how weak we may be. The world condemns us, tries to take away what we have, and gives us no peace.
These are the two enemies of prayer: our sinful nature and the world. On the inside, they try to decrease our desire to pray, and on the outside, they try to chase us away from away from prayer. All we can do is continue crying out to God. We should pray for strength and better understanding of his Word.
The Bondage of the Will, Luther’s exposition on the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, laid the groundwork for Reformation thought. It shows us a humbling view of ourselves while strengthening our faith in Christ.
The Ambassador Classics series brings the greatest classic works of Christian history into a single set. It includes unabridged works by Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Calvin, A. T. Pierson, John Owens, C. H. Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, J. C. Ryle, R. A. Torrey and many others. This series will continue to enrich and deepen your faith in Christ.