Day 16

True Blessedness

from the Luke reading plan


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.

Post Comments (53)

53 thoughts on "True Blessedness"

  1. Sarah Presley says:

    I don’t deserve to even be heard be God. Yet He tells me I can not only speak to Him, but I can come boldly into His throne room and even be annoyingly persistent. Thank You, Abba Father.

  2. Churchmouse says:

    As I read the Scriptures selected for us today, several thoughts come to mind. I’ve heard it said, in regards to persistent prayer, to “pray it through.” My response was “pray it through to what?“ Till I’m sure of the answer? What if I think I know but I’m not sure? And what about “pray without ceasing”? How does all this mesh? I don’t know if I’m right but I pray about a concern until I have peace about it, that I’ve left the results entirely to the Lord. If I start to feel anxious about it again, I pray until peace returns. This relates I think to what Jesus is saying in Luke 11: 9-13. I’m not always sure I’m praying, asking for, the right thing, and I’m not always trusting God will get the answer /solution right (just being honest – I foolishly think He needs my detailed explanation of all the potential scenarios to make sure He understands the whole predicament so he acts in the way I’d prefer. I know that’s not right but that’s me sometimes.Ugh). I lately though have focused on vs.13. I pray for the Spirit to take control of me so that I have His peace and can then fully release the results of my prayer request to God. I ask for more of the Spirit to be evident in my life. I ask for more of an awareness of His presence and who He is because that pushes out doubt. I ask for me to more fully surrender my will to His. I ask for His good and perfect and pleasing fruit – not the rotting fruit manufactured on my own and outside of His will.

  3. Stephanie Shaighnessy says:

    I realize in reading this how undeniably opposite my prayer life is to what is described here. Sometimes I don’t even ask. I just think, “wouldn’t it be nice if God would show up in my life in this way or that way” not only am I less than relentless… I am flat out negligent. I think I often have an attitude of “If He wants to, He will. Who am I to tell God what to do.” What would or could happen if I pursued specific things (the things that seem to always be on my heart) with shameless boldness of asking, seeking, knocking, relentlessly. I think it’s time to stop being passive about my requests. Good thoughts today.

    1. Meito Kadime says:

      That’s totally me! But NOW IAM GONNA KNOCK

  4. Sam says:

    All three readings had something to do with what is going on in my life right now. I need to pray more, worry less. Jesus was so bold with the Pharisees, well really every one. I hope to be the friend to someone who may be knocking in the night.

  5. Susan says:

    Ask.Seek.Knock.Repeat
    ❤️

  6. amarose says:

    Alice, to answer your question, in my experience, if I have been wholly praying and seeking God about something, I am in a deep enough relationship that he reveals clearly whether his answer is no or if I should keep going. I think if you are at the point where you are praying fervently, you will be in tune to God’s voice. Usually No is pretty clear and if I’m not hearing No, then I keep going and praying. It’s tough though and something I still wrestle with.

  7. S S says:

    Well that’s twice in 2 days I have tried to post from my phone and it magically disappears when I press post. Does this happen to anyone else?

    1. S S says:

      And giving it about 5 minutes and reloading the page, I find that my posts just needed a few minutes to appear….

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