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.”
How do you know when to stop praying for something? How do you know when enough is enough? Is there a timeline for believers to place their requests before God? How bold should your prayers be?
To teach the need for persistent prayer, Jesus gave the example of a person asking his neighbor for three loaves of bread. An unexpected and hungry guest had arrived at a late hour. The midnight knock on the neighbor’s door was very inconvenient. The door was locked and everyone was in bed. In the one-room homes of Jesus’ day, the request called for the neighbor to step over and around the sleeping children. Jesus said that even if friendship doesn’t prompt the neighbor to respond, your “shameless audacity” would persuade him to get up and get what you needed.
In this story Jesus teaches persistence in prayer. Don’t give up. Keep praying. Don’t give in. Keep asking. Don’t back down. Keep moving forward. God will show you when your request will be answered one way or the other. For now, keep praying.
Father, help me be persistent in my prayer. Help me not to give up when things don’t happen according to my timeline. Help me stand firm and keep asking until Your answer is evident. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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