- Lesson 5 in the Connect360 unit “Jesus Storyteller: Timeless Truths From His Parables” focuses on Luke 11:5-13.
This parable is not about God as the reluctant, sleeping neighbor. Instead, the point of the story is about us. We should be like the man who is bold enough to ask for bread at midnight.
The key word in verse 8 is translated “persistence” in the New International Version and “importunity” according to the King James Version. It’s a Greek word (anadeia) that only appears once in the New Testament. It literally means “shamelessness.” It’s an outrageous, bold request the man makes.
We must be bold but also specific in prayer, like this man. The needy neighbor didn’t say, “Can I have some food?” He specifically asked for three loaves of bread. Our Father is a God of details—just look at the wings of a butterfly. He doesn’t deal in generalities; God deals in specifics. Therefore, ask God for specific requests.
We must also be persistent in our boldness. I imagine the needy neighbor didn’t knock once. His neighbor was fast asleep. So, he pounded on the door until he woke up. He kept on asking without shame until his neighbor granted his request.
Have you ever prayed for something, and when you didn’t get the answer right away, you stopped praying? Prayer that “just won’t quit” practices bold, persistent praying.
We must also be expectant when we pray boldly. Clearly, the man in this story expected to get the bread or he wouldn’t have wasted his time. Jesus likewise taught we must pray expecting an answer. In Mark 11:24 He said, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Your concept of God will determine how you pray. It always has been easy for me to pray to God as my heavenly Father. Early in my pastorate, I did not realize it is difficult for many people to pray to God as “Father.” I had a great earthly father who spent time with me, and I enjoyed our relationship. Not everyone is so blessed.
In explaining this parable, Jesus says God is a loving Father who is full of compassion and goodness toward his children. He’s not the reluctant neighbor. God is a good God, and he wants to answer your prayers.
Based on a lesson by David O. Dykes, pastor emeritus of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler. To learn more about GC2 Press and the Connect360 Bible study series, or to order materials, click here.
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