Friday, January 30, 2009

Chapter Eleven in the Gospel of Luke

1Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray"...

5And he said to them, "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves, 6for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; 7and he will answer from within,
'Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything'?
8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence [boldness, persistence, insistence, importunity, shamelessness, and shameless audacity] he will rise and give him whatever he needs.

9And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

11What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

I like this passage. Verses 2-4, which I did not include here, is part of the "Lord's Prayer". I think too many people focus on that part of Jesus' answer than this part. Books upon books have been written on the Lord's Prayer, and yet I feel the next part of the chapter is what gets to me. I have heard one sermon on this passage years ago, and it still sticks with me.

If we are passive when we go to Christ with our needs and concerns, we may not get didily squat. As in this passage... if you go and ask once and don't get an answer right away, or even a "no", don't quit. Don't stop asking. Don't give up because you think it's a hopeless cause. Stand out in the street in the middle of the night, banging on Christ's door begging for whatever you may need. I believe Christ will honor our persistence... as this is how He told us to pray.

Christ is unchanging, yes. But that does not mean that He can't change a "no" to a "yes". That does not change who He is. And above all, His will shall be done, I understand that. But taking that into consideration, I do not believe we should go passively before our God just because, ultimately, His will will be done. We need to be bold, and have shameless audacity before His throne. We need to get on our knees and beg.

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