Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him. Then the one inside answers, “Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.” I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of his boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
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; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Luke 11:5-10
Those last two verses are pretty popular in the church. I have heard them many times, seen them on many plaques and posters over the years. This is the first time I have had teaching specifically on the first verses in this section.
Now I am not saying that when we pray, God is telling us to go away until morning or that He is too busy or comfortable to listen to us. Not ever. Not even a little. But in this parable, Jesus is teaching us about prayer. Earlier in Luke 11, He taught us the Lord’s Prayer; how to pray. Now, He is teaching us WHEN to pray.
And it goes something like this.
Always. Every day. Every minute. Without fail. Without ceasing. Without giving up. If something is on your heart, share it with God. If it’s on your heart every single minute of every single day, tell Him that.
I used to worry that God would get sick of me. That He was tired of hearing me ask something again and again. Seriously? How small is that love? It’s not the huge, never-ending, overflowing kind of love that would make someone sacrifice their only child for someone else. His answer might be no and it might be not yet. But He wants us to keep asking until He tells us “no”. If it’s on our hearts, He wants us to share it with Him. Continually. Maybe our persistence will pay off by our prayer being answered with a “yes”.
And maybe the more important outcome of our persistence will be our continual conversation with God, regardless of the answer.