It’s midnight. The family is settled, the animals are bedded, the work of the day, completed. Then an unexpected knock on the door disturbs the stillness and quiet of the night. Wake up, friend, please, wake up! I have guests and nothing to offer them, I need to borrow some food. Help me, please! The response from inside the home is understandably one of anger. Seriously? Go away! We are all in bed, I will awaken my children if I come to the door. But reluctantly he does come to the door, for the midnight caller is persistent, and won’t stop his pleading.
Jesus shared that familiar story in Luke, chapter eleven, while teaching His disciples a lesson on prayer. When we have a more in-depth understanding, shedding light on the Jewish culture of the day, the story takes on rich meaning. Jewish homes were small and modest, generally one room, with the entire family bedding in that one, common area. If the family owned chickens or small animals, they were sometimes brought in for safekeeping, too. Yikes, all in the same room! That’s a far cry from our multi-leveled homes with ample bedroom space, isn’t it? A huge bar was put in place to lock the door from the inside, protecting both the contents and those residing therein. So why would a midnight visitor expect his friend to awaken his entire family simply to share a loaf of bread? Surely that could wait till morning, no one is THAT hungry. But it couldn’t wait.
Hospitality was the cornerstone in Hebrew culture, to ignore the needs of a guest in your home was a social no-no. The acute sense of urgency in this story is summed up by the use of the word importunity, The man did not answer the door due to loyalty to a friend, but because of the friend’s importunity. “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.” The word is only used once in the Bible and literally means shameless. The shameless, unabashed persistence of that late-night caller forced the homeowner to finally relent.
The moral of the story: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking! Have spiritual determination in your approach toward prayer, for you are not imploring a stranger, but a gracious, loving Father. Have you sought God to answer that deep desire of your heart with no apparent answer? Keep asking! Have you prayed for that lost loved one for years and are slowly losing hope? Keep praying! Have you knocked on the Father’s door for a desperate need in your life? Keep knocking on that door! We have a compassionate Father with a tender concern for His children, and He loves to hear from them. Approach the throne with humility, confidence, and determination, knowing that your Father loves to hear your voice at the door.
Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
We have a kind, gracious Father Who loves to hear from His children. Help me to be persistent in prayer, even though I may not receive the answer that I am expecting.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-412-632fbeed6bc1b' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=412&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-412-632fbeed6bc1b' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-412-632fbeed6bc1b' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>