As we continue our prayer journey towards finding the right perspective of God, let’s move on to Luke 11. Again, Jesus is teaching on prayer and comes up with another striking little story. Like our first story this one is designed to expose the hidden views we have concerning God’s character especially in relation to prayer. Essentially we have a man in need coming to “his friend”, to ask for three loaves of bread. He is the archetype of all who come to God with their needs. However, in spite of his being a friend he gets a rather shocking reception !
“Don’t bother me.”
Deep down, do we sometimes harbour the image of God being like some high-powered business executive, rushing around running the world with no real-time for my prayers and concerns and my three little loaves of life!
“The door is already locked,”
Do you sometimes think that a “no entry” sign has been put up specifically over heaven for you ? Have sin, rejection and unbelief put barricades before heaven’s generosity? Has someone told you that you’ve no right to pray, as that is only the job of priests, holy men and the super spiritual ?
“..and my children are with me in bed.”
Well, here we have it. God is asleep in bed while the world hungers for bread !
How many have not sometimes found themselves pondering such thoughts. Communists and humanists load their guns with such ammunition. The famous communist playwright, Bertolt Brecht, wrote:
“Food is the first thing, morals follow on!”
God seems strangely absent from the world scene. Often we may have cried out to God and felt, perhaps, His absence. An absence that may well have wounded us deeply and left the way open for Satan’s bitter lies.
“I can’t get up and give you anything.”
Is God really as pathetic as this !
Better find some rich businessman to get things done or some mafia warlord as God, it seems, is powerless !
The above is the exact opposite of who God is and a direct antithesis to the whole ethic and promise of prayer !
If you’ve ever believed this lie about Him you almost deserve to be breadless ! Such a blasphemous view of God and prayer is a pretty serious sin that needs repenting of. Jesus gently rebuked the father of the demonized boy in Mark 9: 23, when he weakly said,
” If you can ? “
We need to remember that he was speaking to the all-powerful Son of God ! ” If you can ? “ is just not good enough ! Jesus reminded him of the level of faith filled asking he was looking for.
“If you can ?” said Jesus.
” Everything is possible for him who believes “
Let us repent deeply of all the wrong views of God that are exposed in Jesus’ simple story. Like our concerned father, struggling with past failure and demonic lies, let us cry out :
” I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief ! “
Let us persevere, and be bold enough to walk through apparent contradictions by faith. Learn to laugh at Satan’s lies and attacks and hold firm on God’s generous giving nature. This is the ” persistence “ mentioned in the text. A persistence for a right perspective of God, not a superstitious persistence in dead works of unbelief.
The “boldness” and perseverance here is not to change God’s mind or somehow win Him over through good works or penance. It is simply our own inner perseverance and boldness needed to overcome the lies of the enemy which continually blaspheme God’s character to us. We must daily and boldly overcome such persistent demonic propaganda!
The original Greek word used for “boldness” here is anaideia, which literally means “without shame”. When we think of the strong hospitality and shame culture present in these times we also get the same unimaginable image that we found in the evil father giving a stone. In Jesus’ culture it would have been just as unthinkable and horrendously impossible for someone to show such a lack of mutual support and hospitality to an asking friend.
“I tell you..”
“So I say to you..”
“..he will get up and give him as much as he needs.”
“Ask and it will be given to you;”
In this world where God’s image is constantly being blasphemed by the enemy’s works of death and destruction, aided and abetted by the our own passivity and feeble prayer doctrine, we need a bold generation who will hold firm in prayer, striving daily to maintain their high view of God and getting answer from heaven to meet the needs of mankind.
The prayer of faith will always meet God’s provision. God is longing to find faith that receives as much as we need and hearts that dare to ask.
So…..how much do you need ?