“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, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 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’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence (persistence) he will rise and give him whatever he needs. 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. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Luke 11:5-10
Jesus was teaching his disciples further on prayer so he told this parable to them about the man who needed bread to feed a friend so he goes to another friends house at midnight to ask for bread. First of all, we need to picture the man’s house. It was not like our houses where children had their own rooms and you could wander the house at night without disturbing another soul. Their houses were usually one room. Yet this friend was bold enough to come to the house and knock and was persistent enough that he didn’t just go away when the man says “I can’t help you.” When you think on the scenario it puts another level to the persistence does it not? Jesus wants us to have that kind of boldness and persistence when we are bringing things to the Father.
When I began praying for a job so that I could move to the lake I didn’t just throw it up there as a wish to move to the lake and leave the rest to God. I committed it to my prayer time. I would ask God over and over to show me the way to the job he had for me. Then I made it a point to look at websites of school districts regularly to see if there were any job openings. Then when I saw a job opening, I applied for it. I had used diligence and persistence, praying about it, and searching for it, I asked God to open doors if it was to happen. You want to know the cool thing? Within a week or so after I began praying, the place that I was working at the time hired a new person for our front desk. She and I became friends and started talking. Over time I shared with her that I wanted to move to the lake, (my husband had already moved and I was driving back and forth on the weekends). She had previously lived near where I wanted to go and still had connections in the very place that a job opened up and knew people to put in a good word to. I believe with my whole heart that God put her in place with me to get me where I wanted to go. The cherry on top of this story is that she found out that her husband was being transferred back to the same area within a week or so after I found my job.
Let’s look at verses 9-10 again:
“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. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10
I found this statement in commentary that bears repeating:
“God often waits for our passionate persistence in prayer. It isn’t that God is reluctant and needs to be persuaded. Our persistence doesn’t change God; it changes us, developing in us a heart and passion for what God wants.”
The key here is in the seeking. God has often blessed me and answered my prayers with direction, like the way to a job. He has blessed me with things, like when I needed a car. He has blessed my family in ways that we don’t have time here to write. And there have also been prayers that I began praying that I had to let go of, But when I come to him persistently and I ask, and I seek, and I keep on knocking if it is not something for my good and His glory, He has also changed my heart in the matter until the answer was not near as important as the relationship that I was gaining from the asking and seeking.
Come boldly friends, just like the friend banging on the door at midnight for bread. Ask Him, Seek Him. Keep knocking! If it is for your good and His glory, you will get the answer you seek and it may even be better than you could have imagined.