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…
Then Jesus said to them, “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 .
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:1, 5-10 NIV)
Every follower of Jesus has times when they feel like their prayer life could use some heavenly help. Sometimes our prayers lack consistency, power, and effectiveness. The original disciples were no different. Luke records a day in the life of Jesus where he had just finished praying in an undisclosed location. One of his disciples spoke up and asked the Lord to teach them all how to pray more effectively. After providing them a framework for prayer, which is known universally as “The Lord’s Prayer,” Jesus told them a story to illustrate the way in which they should approach their Heavenly Father.
Jesus revealed three truths about the circumstance of a man who came to a neighbor’s house at an ungodly hour to ask for some bread to feed an unexpected guest. First, there was a legitimate need. His guest required food and lodging. Second, there was a lack of personal resources to meet that need.
His cupboard was bare and the market was closed. Third, he was motivated by a desire to serve others. He wanted to take good care of his guest, even if it meant abasing himself to ask for assistance. The situation caused him to act with what Jesus described as “shameless audacity,” going to his neighbor’s house at midnight to beg for resources to meet the need.
It is interesting that the neighbor finally responded, not because of the wonderful bonds of
friendship, but because of the impertinence of his friend. Ultimately, the man was able to provide for the needs of his guest, but first he had to seek out his neighbor, knock on his door and ask for provision with shameless audacity. Here is a valuable lesson straight from the lips of Jesus for all of us who desire to have a powerful and effective prayer life.
When was the last time you prayed with “shameless audacity?” How long has it been since you showed some godly impertinence to seek, knock and ask God to provide for legitimate needs in your own life or in the lives of others, whether they were physical, emotional, spiritual or relational?
Thankfully, we aren’t approaching a surly, sleepy neighbor for heavenly help. We are coming to the God of the universe who never sleeps, is never inconvenienced, and who delights in giving good gifts to his children. However, our Father wants to see some shameless audacity as we approach Him.
Let the words of Jesus transform your prayer life as you come to him with legitimate needs -
realizing your own inability to meet those needs, motivated by a desire to serve others, and utterly dependent on your Heavenly Father’s provision. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”