Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 8: Prayer must be Persistent

Quotes is taken from Luke 11:5 – 8
 If you’re a bottom-line person like me, here is my summary for today’s article: Prayer must be persistent and that God is always ready to give.

A parable:
Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, let me borrow three loaves of bread. A friend of mine on a trip has dropped in on me, and I don't have anything to serve him.” In the culture of that time there was a strong expectation that generous hospitality should be shown to visitors. Fail to do that may cause shame and therefore it must be avoided at all costs. Normally during Jesus’ time, most food was prepared daily and there were no preservatives.

Imagine… your friend have a delayed flight and landed at KL International Airport around midnight. He needed a place to stay, so he called you to stay overnight at your lonely house. You said ‘yes’. But you forget that you have no food on the refrigerator and accidentally there’s no 7-Eleven around your place. His flight delayed and he was hungry. And you don’t have anything to serve him. [I’m supposing that you’re hospitable too.] You don’t want to let your friend sleep with empty stomach so you rang the bell of your nearest friend’s house at the rate of 3 rings per second and begging to borrow his 3 loaves of Gardenia bread. Imagine that…

Suppose he answers from inside, 'Stop bothering me! The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything!” Imagine that your friend answers from his small middle class house “Stop it man! Are you crazy? My little children will wake up and cry if they notice that I’m not with them in bed. Shuhhh… Go away!”

2 things that Jesus’ hearers would understand: The desperation of the man outside and the reluctance of the man inside. In your case; we understand that you need to provide food for your friend who is hungry after a delayed flight and we also understand that your friend to whom you want to borrow 3 loaves of Gardenia bread don’t want to open the door because he don’t want to wake up his children.

I tell you, even though he doesn't want to get up and give him anything because he is his friend, he will get up and give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.Because of the village’s reputation for hospitality, man inside the house in verse above finally will get up and give him what his friend needs. The word translated ‘persistence’ is anaideia, which actually means, ‘boldness’ or ‘shamelessness.’ If you do the same, ring your friend's door bell at the rate of 3 times per second, most surely he will open the door and give you instead of 3 loaves of Gardenia bread, he might also give you some extra instant Maggie noodles!

Leon Morris comments, “We must not play at prayer, but must show persistence if we do not receive the answer immediately. It is not that God is unwilling and must be pressed into answering. The whole context makes it clear that He is eager to give. But if we do not want what we are asking for enough to be persistent, we do not want it very much. It is not such tepid prayer that is answered.” God’s delay is not God’s denial. Keep perseverance in your prayer.

It all happens at mid-night. Jesus is saying that God will willingly give us all that we need, whatever time of the day or night we come to our request. There is no unreasonably time with God, either for hearing or answering prayer. Tim Chester writes, ‘Jesus is arguing from the lesser to the greater…
·   If reluctant human being will give you what you want out of concern for his reputation, how much more will your loving heavenly Father?
·   If a man will answer your cry even though he is asleep with his family, how much more will He who never sleeps?

I’m giving you the same summary for today’s article: Prayer must be persistent and that God is always ready to give. 

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