TEXT: Luke 11:5-8
5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 167 messages in this series.
This is message #168 titled, The Nature of God in Relation to Prayer (Part 1)
Following the Lord’s Prayer, which we looked at for the second time in this Praying Through the Bible Series over the past two weeks, Jesus gives us a parable that demonstrates some of the principles contained in His instruction regarding prayer. In this short story, Jesus gives us a glimpse of the nature of God as it relates to prayer.
In the story, we have a man who is in need. This man has a guest in his house, and he has no food to give to his guest. So, even though it is midnight, he goes to his neighbor’s house and asks his neighbor for three loaves of bread. However, the neighbor responds, “Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.” (In Jesus’ day, family members slept in a row beside each other in a single room. The father and mother slept at one end of the room, and then the children in order of age. Sometimes, domesticated animals stayed in the room as well. Considering the traditionally large size of families in the first century, it was well nigh impossible to get up in the middle of the night without disturbing one or several other people.) This neighbor, who is interested in his own comfort, does not want to arise from his relaxation to answer the request of his friend. However, Jesus tells us that the man is so persistent in his request that the neighbor eventually arises and gives him not just three loaves, but “as many as he needeth.”
What is Jesus trying to teach us about prayer through this parable? First, we must not make the mistake of identifying God with the neighbor who does not want to rise from his bed. Dr. John Walvoord said, “It is common in Luke for good lessons to be taught from bad examples. In contrast with the man who did not want to be bothered, God wants His people to pray to Him.” Jesus is trying to show us that even if this selfish neighbor would be willing to rise and provide for his friend’s need, God is much more willing to do so.
The first principle we ought to learn from this parable is that we should come boldly to God in prayer. Surely, the man in this parable was ashamed that a guest had come to his house and he had nothing to set before him. Surely, this man was embarrassed to have to go to his neighbor’s house in the middle of the night to ask for a few loaves of bread. Surely, he feared rejection and ridicule. But, he went and asked boldly anyway.
God wants us to overcome our doubts, our fears, our concerns, and our worries, and come to Him in prayer anyway. No matter what our need is, we should not hesitate to bring it before him. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Coming to God boldly does not mean that we come proudly. We can be bold when we come to God because we are confident that God hears and that He can answer our prayers. Notice some things in Jesus’ parable that contributed to the man’s confidence:
1. The man in this parable had a vital need that he could not provide for at that time. No bakers or markets were open in the middle of the night, so the man had only one hope of getting what he needed — he had to go to his neighbor and ask. We can be bold in prayer when we realize that God alone can provide the solution to our problem.
2. The man in this parable was not asking for himself, but for someone else. He asked for “a friend of mine in his journey.” We often think of prayer as a way to get what we want and need from God. And it is a wonderful blessing and privilege to get our prayers answered from God about the things we need and the good things we desire. But I believe that God smiles on His children in a special way when they pray for others, and one of the greatest joys in life is praying for others. And strangely, sometimes it seems you can have more boldness and more faith for someone else than you can for yourself. I can’t explain it, I can only say it’s a God thing.
3. The man in this parable had a pre-established relationship with his neighbor. The text says he called him “Friend.” This was not the first time this man had communicated with his neighbor. They had a relationship that preceded this midnight crisis. Too many of us treat God like He works at the police station. Whenever we have a problem, we dial 9-1-1 and expect Him to come out and fix it. We ought to invest in our relationship with God long before we have a crisis. Stephen Cole said, “While God is often gracious to introduce Himself for the first time in response to a midnight knock on His door, the time to meet Him is before the midnight need! If you know Him as a familiar friend, you will feel more comfortable banging on His door at midnight when you have to!”
When it comes time for us to ask God to supply a vital need, we ought to come boldly as His children.
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.