“But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.”
Luke 11:8, NLT
This verse is in response to a story Jesus told, asking His disciples to put themselves in the shoes of a man with a need. This man had a friend who came to his house and he had nothing to give him. In that culture, this was a huge breach of etiquette. A faux pas. A sure way to lose face. Instead of resigning himself to his deficit, he goes to his neighbor’s house at the unreasonable hour of midnight and persistently asks for what he needs to make his guest feel welcomed and loved.
The knocking man refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer. He won’t leave until he gets what he needs, even though the time and manner is simply ridiculous. It seems to be all too much.
Do you ever find yourself not truly praying what you want to pray because it seems like what you’d be asking for is all too much? Is what you want a ridiculous request?
To be debt-free when the hole seems astronomical.
Healing from Stage 4 cancer.
Your drug-addicted brother to finally put down the pipe.
$4 million to build a new church building.
Your since-childhood-atheist husband to come to love Jesus.
Your daughter to leave her abuser, when she’s tried 15 times already.
These things may seem impossible. Our feeble brains see the past and we just shake our heads: What’s the point? It’s too hard. It’s never going to happen.
But what happens if we stop asking? What happens if we’re not shamelessly persistent about what we need?
Do we stop talking to God altogether? Or, do we converse, but not about our whole heart, our whole lives?
It’s hard to ask God repeatedly for the same things over and over again. Sometimes, though you know He can do it, you fear He won’t do it. Perhaps you’ve asked for big things—impossible things—and you’ve felt profound disappointment or rejection. This hinders you from asking again.
But if we cease the asking, we may very well cease to partake in the miracles we need.
Take those instances where it appears God has told you “no” to things you want. Ask Him about these things. Listen for His answer.
Take stock of your heart. What are some things that burn in your heart, things you simply can’t stop thinking about or praying for, even if you’ve tried?
Jesus, show me the shamelessly persistent prayers I need to pray, those big prayers that seem impossible to fulfill from a human perspective. Then, give me the courage to pray them anyway. Amen.