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Prayer is communication with God and it is an act of worship in which a person communicates with God the father, through the access provided by God the son, and by the prompting of God the spirit. In the practice of prayer we tell God how we love him and want him in our lives. Prayer is paying attention to God in the sense that in our prayer we get to know his will for our lives. Jesus not only taught about prayer but with outstanding dedication withdrew from his usual activities to pray

(Luke 5:16). Oswald Smith once said that “when we work, we work, when we pray, God works”. It is sound to say that the secret of all failure is our failure in secret prayer and this is not just our failure to pray, but our failure in prayer. The question we need to ask ourselves is: Is my prayer driven by my love for God and his people? Are my motives right? (See James 4:3).

In the parable of Jesus in Luke 11:5-13, Jesus tells about a man going to his friend at midnight to ask for bread for his guest who had arrived on a journey and had nothing to set before him. The friend of the man refuses to help since everyone in his house was a sleep. But Jesus says in verse 8 “though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his boldness he will rise and give him whatever he needs”. The context within which this parable is given is prayer and Jesus helps us to see how as Christians we must demonstrate God's love through prayer.

Firstly, it is clear in this story that prayer does not occur apart from a sense of need and in this case the need of someone else. Perhaps this man would not have gone over to his friend at midnight to meet his own need. But when a friend comes on a journey, the sense of need is deep and  necessary that moves the man to go to his neighbour that hour of the night to borrow bread. Prayer is designed to fill the needs of needy people (Hebrews 4:16).

Secondly, we see in this parable sacrificial love that moved this man to go to his friend's house at this unseeingly hour (1 John 2:9-11; 3:14). Thirdly, we learn from this parable the importance of  ood relationships. The man in this story had a personal relationship with his neighbour and that's what he was acting upon. The emphasis here is that when we establish personal relationships with God, we have the confidence to comfortably go knocking at his door any hour we have a need. Our relationship with God gives us the knowledge of who he is and able to do. As a people we are limited in many ways but God has everything we need to keep us going.

Fourthly we recognize the big contrast between the friend in bed and God. The man in bed was a sleep whereas God never sleeps. He also did not want to be disturbed whereas our requests do not disturb God. In the context of our Christ like relationship with God, we have been given a very assuring promise beside salvation. We can ask anything in his name, for his glory and expect to receive it at any hour and in any situation (John 15:17).

As plainly put in this parable, demonstrating God's love goes beyond our closet time into social action. Taking the burdens of other people upon our shoulders to God and allowing God to use our lives as channels of miracles and blessings to his people. Love seeks not its own, love gives of itself, its time, its comfort for the needs of others. Intercessory prayer is a test of our love and commitment to God and his people. It shows how dedicated we are to building our fellowship with God and fellow human beings. Do you care that someone in your neighborhood is in dire need of something you can help? What kind of a friend are you? Lent period reminds us of our mortality, limitations and our need for each other. As we do our prayers and meditation these forty days of lent, may it dawn on us that we are partners with God in this journey, to reach out to the world with God's love (John 13:34-35).


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Lavington United Church was founded in 1960 through a joint effort of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), Methodist Church of Kenya (MCK) and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) as a community church to minister to the Lavington community. <<Read full History>>

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