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 168 messages in this series.
This is message #169 titled, The Nature of God in Relation to Prayer (Part 2)
Today, we are going to continue looking at the prayer principles that Jesus shows us through the parable of the man in need. This man has a guest in his house, and he has no food to give 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.” This neighbor, who is interested in his own comfort, does not want to arise from his relaxation to provide for the needs 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.”
On last week, we saw that, through this parable, Jesus is trying to teach us that we ought to come boldly to God in prayer. (And, of course, we must remember that the man in his bed is not a depiction of God. Rather, Luke intends to contrast the true nature of God with the true nature of this man (and men in general) who does not want to provide for his neighbor. God actually wants us to come to Him in prayer. I believe He is more eager to hear and answer our prayers than we are to pray sometimes.)
We saw three things in this parable that contributed to the man’s confidence. We ought to keep these things in mind as we go before God in prayer.
1. This man had a vital need that he could not provide for on his own.
2. This man was not asking for himself, but for someone else.
3. This man had a pre-established relationship with his neighbor.
When it comes time for us to ask God to supply a vital need, we ought to come boldly as His children.
Jesus is not only teaching us to be bold, but He is also teaching us the value of persistence. The neighbor did not get out of bed and provide for his friend at the first knock on his door. He argued and complained about how he was already asleep. He said, “Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.” But Jesus says, ‘Guess what? This man WILL rise and give bread to his friend… because of his IMPORTUNITY’.
“Importunity” is translated from a Greek word that means persistence. It means to knock again and again, to not give up, to press a matter until it is resolved satisfactorily — in this case, to keep on praying until the prayer is answered — to pray through. One version of the Bible translates this same word as “impudence”, which means to be stubborn, insistent, and unrelenting. This man was not going home until he got bread for his guest.
In this passage, we learn one more thing about the nature of God as it relates to prayer. He is not closed-fisted in His answers to our prayers. He does not give grudgingly. When the friend in this parable ‘rises and gives his neighbor as many loaves as he needeth,’ his attitude is, ‘Here, let me give you what you need so you won’t bother me again.’ God, however, WANTS to give to us ‘exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we can ask or think.’ He wants to bless us beyond our wildest dreams. The Bible says “every good and perfect gift comes down” from Him.
Often, our blessings and answers to prayer are limited because we do not ask boldly and persistently. We give up too soon. We don’t keep asking, seeking, and knocking. We don’t do like Jacob did with the angel — hold on and say, ‘I’m not letting go until you bless me.’ God wants to see that kind of boldness and persistence in prayer. Charles Stanley said, “God is honored by large, difficult, and impossible requests when we ask, seek, knock, and trust our loving Father to always answer for our good.”
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
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.