Open Your Bible
Luke 11:1-54, Isaiah 55:6-7, Romans 8:14-17
BY Guest Writer
I was home alone one evening when someone started knocking at my door. We have a rather unwelcoming “No Solicitation” sign posted on our door, and it was past the time for a postal delivery. And yet, the knocking persisted. Generally, I don’t answer the door when I’m home alone, but I peeked around the corner and saw that it was our friendly neighbor, looking exceptionally apologetic.
“Do you have a corkscrew we could borrow?”
We did, and I gave it to him, and sincerely told him to knock anytime.
The parable Jesus tells in today’s reading is about a persistent neighbor, only this one is knocking and knocking and knocking at midnight, after the whole house had already gone to bed. Some commentaries call this parable humorous, a quality we don’t always assign to Jesus’s words, but in this case, the story plays out a bit like a sitcom.
A man and his family are asleep in bed, when a neighbor starts knocking. Eventually, the man gets up, begrudgingly, not out of the kindness in his heart, but because of his friend’s “shameless boldness” (Luke 11:8).
The point Jesus is making is not that we should be hospitable at all costs, even dragging ourselves out of a warm bed in the middle of the night to give our neighbor some bread. He’s telling us we should approach God with the same shameless boldness of the knocking neighbor in the parable. Some translations call it the neighbor’s “impudence,” or “shameless audacity.” These are not words I typically think of when I pray.
I am learning, however, to be persistent in prayer, praying the same things over and over again—not out of disbelief, but out of belief and faith. Every night, I pray the same words over my daughters: “Please show them how much You love them. Give them hearts that love You, eyes that see You, ears that hear You.” It’s not laziness, but persistence. Over and over, I ask, seek, and knock at God’s door in prayer.
Jesus’s illustration of persistent prayer follows the Lord’s Prayer, a tangible example of how we should pray every day. His answer to the disciples’ request, “Teach us to pray,” is two-fold. First, pray for things like these. Second, pray persistently.
Yesterday, in Luke 10, we read about how Jesus came to reveal the Father. Today, He shows us how we can speak to the Father. Jesus invites us to know Him. And through Him, we’re invited to know the Father, too, to pray to Him without ceasing.
May we ask, seek, and knock with persistence and faith, knowing that God will always answer for the good of all those who love Him, and to make known the riches of His glory (Romans 8:28; 9:23).
Melanie Rainer is a bookworm from birth who makes her days writing, editing and reading in Nashville, where she also joyfully serves as the editor of Kids Read Truth. She has an M.A. in Theological Studies from Covenant Seminary, spends as much time as she can in the kitchen, and can’t wait until her two daughters are old enough to read Anne of Green Gables.