Jesus reinforces the need to pray with persistence, by telling the parable of the friend who called at midnight. This parable is one of contrast. God, in this parable is contrasted to a reluctant friend but in His goodness is not like the unwilling friend, but infinitely more willing. He is completely loving and earnestly attending to our prayers. If persistence can obtain three loaves of bread from a reluctant friend at midnight, then certainly our sincere and persistent prayers will receive our Father‟s complete attention and His answer at the perfect moment. The parable reveals God‟s character of a loving Father who hears and answers, and our need of persistence in prayer.
Luke 11:5-10 (ESV) 5 And 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, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and 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’? 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If 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!”
Question 1: Why does the Lord require that we ask again and again instead of just once?
- It was not friendship, but persistency that secured the caller’s request.
- Jesus puts emphasis when he says; “I tell you.” We can’t inconvenience God to answer our prayers.
- Ask, seek and knock literally means to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking. Be Persistent.
- The Lord answers the prayers of those who are persistent.
A sense of heightened passion is conveyed by the three words used by Jesus in v. 9: ask, seek, and knock. Ask involves merely stating a request. Seek implies a more intense interest in obtaining something. Knock implies action with a purpose; the person has actually located a place where the desired object can be found.
Luke 11:11-13 (ESV) 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If 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!”
Jesus reinforces his teaching with an illustration. If an evil father will meet the requests of his child, ‘how much more; Jesus says, “will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask!” ‘ Jesus’ reference to the Spirit challenges us to view prayer, not as a method for us to get what we want, but as a means of submitting to what our Father wants for us receive which will be the perfect gift.
Question 2: When you ask the Father to give you the Holy Spirit, what should you expect to see in your life?
Conclusion: If you want the will of God done in your life, you have the Lord’s guarantee that it will be granted when you demonstrate persistency in your prayers.