December 11: Shameless Prayer
“Because of his friend’s shameless boldness, he will get up and give him as much as he needs” (Luke 11:8). […]
“Because of his friend’s shameless boldness, he will get up and give him as much as he needs” (Luke 11:8).
What kind of friend knocks on your door at midnight?
If I hear a knock in the middle of the night, especially in these troubled times, I’m going to think twice about going to the door. A robber wouldn’t typically knock at all. He would find an open window or an unlocked door, or he would break the glass and then come in.
Robbers don’t usually announce themselves.
This story reminds me of the old saying, “Nothing good happens after midnight.” That strikes me as a reliable bit of wisdom. Since this was written 2000 years ago, Luke doesn’t mention phone calls or text messages. As I think about it, I don’t believe I’ve ever gotten a phone call at 2 AM where someone said, “Pastor Ray, I’ve got some good news.” It’s always bad news when they call that late.
The knock on the door is even worse.
But what if, after taking due precautions, when you go to the door, you discover it’s not a burglar or a troublemaker, and it’s not the police with bad news?
It’s your friend, and he needs some bread. Evidently one of his friends needs three loaves of bread, and your friend doesn’t have any. He is asking for bread for his friend at midnight.
In the story Jesus told, the man tells his friend, “Don’t bother me!” But the friend won’t be put off. He keeps on knocking because he is “shameless” in his request. Though it puts a strain on your friendship, Jesus said the man will get up and give his friend whatever he needs.
So it is when we pray.
Jesus is not saying God gets irritated with us. He means if shameless requests can turn hard hearts on earth, how much more will our persistent prayer move the heart of God who already loves us.
Don’t be ashamed to pray. Ask God for whatever you need. Remember, he knows your heart before you open your mouth. If you need three loaves of bread, ask for them. If you need a miracle, ask for one. There’s no extra charge for large requests.
The door to heaven is wide open. Knock, knock, and keep on knocking. Soon the door will be opened to you.
Lord Jesus, give me grace to keep on praying when it would be easy to give up. Amen.
Musical bonus: Paul Cardall and Audrey Assad recorded a gorgeous arrangement of In the Bleak Midwinter.