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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1042. Lets be humble enough to ask for protection in prayer (25/4/24)

This week, in our Luke series, we are reflecting on Jesus’ teaching on prayer from Luke 11:1-13. Today we consider the need to ask for protection in prayer. 

‘One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.”’ (Luke 11:1-4) 

Lesson: True humility seeks to avoid and prays to avoid temptation. 

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We are in a spiritual battle every day and it’s vital, but overlooked by too many, that we must pray for protection. A healthy prayer-diet regularly asks for protection against temptation and dark forces. I know that I often go into the day without having Put on the full armour of God, so that [I] can take your stand against the devil’s schemes’ (Ephesians 6:11). Many of us are like Peter who believed that he was invulnerable to temptation. We read of the trials of Peter: 

‘“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”  But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”’ (Luke 22:31-34) 

Peter was proud and put his faith in himself. He thought that he was stronger than the other disciples. He thought that he could stand against temptation. But He fell! Unlike Jesus, Peter fails to pray. It’s through Jesus’ prayers that Peter would ‘turn back’ and ‘strengthen his brothers.’ Likewise, let's pray for God’s protection in, and that we would be kept from, the ’sifting’ that Satan assaults us with. Later in this gospel, we, again, see that the disciples fail to listen to Jesus and so fail to pray for protection. This leads to their defeat: 

‘On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”  He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed…And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.  “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”’ (Luke 22:40-41, 44-46) 

Jesus tells them to watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation but they fail to do so. John Stott writes of this: 

‘“Watch and pray”, Jesus urged. It was failure to obey this order which led the apostles into their disastrous disloyalty; similar failure leads to similar disloyalty today. It is by prayer that we wait on the Lord and renew our strength. Without prayer we are much too feeble and flabby to stand against the might of the forces of evil.” (John Stott, BST Ephesians, Page 284)


True humility seeks to avoid and prays to avoid temptation. Maybe you’ve heard the story of a rich lady who wanted to employ a driver. She tested the applicants’ skill by asking them to drive to the edge of a cliff and back. The first two applicants showed their great prowess and nerve by performing magnificent manoeuvres that just kept them from plunging over the cliff and into the waves crashing against the rocks far below. The final driver, however, drove very slowly and went nowhere near the cliff edge. The two daring drivers were astonished when she gave the job to Mr. Boring! In explanation she said, I don’t want to employ a driver who takes risks, I want a driver that keeps as far from danger as possible! May this be our attitude. Let’s not trust ourselves overly much! Let’s not be like the fool that Proverbs speaks about who decides to take a walk down the road where that very attractive woman hangs out! Replace the cliff or attractive woman in the proverb for anything else, but let’s pray and steer well clear of temptation. 



1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

This Sunday we have Dale Barlow from the New Ground leadership team coming to speak on The Holy Spirit so let's be praying in advance for our time together.

Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals, which are accessed in Church News, the Teaching button on the website and are now available on the major podcast platforms. 

2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? 

3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.

4. Study and pray together

Our message from our series in Luke on Sunday, based upon Jesus’ teaching on prayer from Luke 11:1-13. Having set them such an example of devotion to prayer His disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. Jesus gives them a structure that contains the vital elements that need to be in our prayer-life personally and as churches.   

Please read Luke 11:1-13, and discuss: 

  • Did God speak to you about anything specifically from Sunday’s message?

  • Praise - Jesus teaches us to begin with praise: “Father, hallowed be your name.” How can we use the Bible in our worship? 

  • Petitions - Secondly, Jesus teaches us to ask for things: “Your kingdom come [your will be done]. Give us each day our daily bread.” What has been your experience of God answering your petitions? 

  • Peacemaking - Thirdly, we are to make peace by receiving and giving forgiveness: “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.” Are we doing this and why is this important? 

  • Protection - Finally, we are to ask for protection as a constant habit: “And lead us not into temptation.” Why do we need to do this every day without fail? 

  • Perseverance - The final section (11:5-13) contains two parables that teach us to persevere in prayer. What promises does this section give to inspire faith for persevering? 

  • SIV - Praying, “Your kingdom come” involves asking God to bring people into His Kingdom. How faithfully are you praying for individuals and for multitudes to enter the kingdom? 

  • SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  • Let’s pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV; and pray for anything else that's come out of our time in God’s Word.


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