October 8th, 2021 – Luke 11:5

Verse of the Day Devotion  Luke 11:5  And He said to them, “Suppose one of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves.

Today we will look at the Parable of the Friend at Midnight.  Here is this parable as found in Luke’s gospel.

And He said to them, “Suppose one of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’. and from inside he shall answer and say, Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything. I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?  Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:5-13.

This parable comes after Luke’s version of the Lord’s prayer, and it’s purpose is to also discuss another aspect of prayer.  He finishes up the Lord’s prayer and then immediately follows it with, “And He said to them, Suppose one of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him.” Luke 11:5-6. He tells them a man goes to a friend’s house, at midnight, to ask for some bread for a friend.  So, he goes to his neighbor for assistance.  But the neighbor answers him saying. “Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything. Luke 11:7. However, after some time he gets up and gives him the bread he needs.

Notice the reason the man gave him the bread.  It was because he was persistent, not because he was a friend. And this should be our attitude in praying,  Jesus tells them, “And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.” Luke 11:9.  In the Greek, which uses the present imperative in each, is a bit different.  It is saying, ‘keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking’.  Therefore, we are to keep on asking. This is what we do when we are certain that the one we are imploring is near and can hear. And we are to keep on seeking. This expects an action on our part. We have to actively look for the one we are imploring. And we are to keep on knocking. This expects further action after having located the one we are imploring. It pictures us as persistently banging on the door to get the person’s attention.    

But also, we are to be confident in our praying. “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?  Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:10-13.  In verses 10-13 Jesus indicates that we must have confidence first that God will, in fact, answer our prayers, and second that God will always answer our prayers in a manner that is best for us.  He has promised this to us, and he always keeps His promises to His people, of whom we are a part.

Therefore, let us change our prayer practices where needed.  Let us be fervent in our prayers to God, giving ourselves totally to Him in our requests, and also trust completely that He will give us what we need, along with what is best for us.  This is true trust in the living God.  For as Jesus told them, “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened.” Luke 11:10.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

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