Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. Luke 11:5-8
Have you ever “prayed” about a situation and did not receive an answer? How many times have we given up, because we “prayed” about it and it did not happen? Proverbs 13:12 teaches us that “hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy.” When we pray and don’t receive what we prayed for, we become disappointed, disheartened and, sometimes, we even become angry. Acts 12:15 states that when Peter was in prison, “prayer was made without ceasing” for him. The church prayed until an angel was summoned to release Peter from jail. The Bible’s teaching on how we should pray for what we need is very different from how we actually pray.
In Luke 11:5-8, Jesus gives us a very simple insight into why some of our prayers are not answered. We simply are not audacious enough; we are not bold enough; we are not fearless enough! We are too timid in our asking. Unlike the person in Luke 11, we don’t ask and keep asking, and don’t stop asking until we get what we asked for. We pray then we let it go. However, Jesus tells us that if we have shameless audacity and do not move off of or give up on what we ask for, we will “surely” receive it. Hebrews 4:16, bids us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” We are to approach prayer with confidence knowing that we are going to receive what we need. When we are confident, we don’t give up after asking one or two times; when we are confident, we keep asking until we receive what we need. Confidence says: it is not “if” we are going to receive, it is “when” we are going to receive!
Jesus gave us another example in Luke 18:1-8. The Bible states that Jesus told this parable that we would know that we “should always pray and not give up” (verse 1). The example is of a widow who kept coming to an unjust judge (the Bible states the judge did not fear God and he did not care what people thought) pleading with him to avenge her of her adversary. Imagine this widow, a woman not having the support of a man, boldly going to an unjust judge requesting justice. She was audacious! She did not care that she was a widow and she did not care about the judge’s reputation; she needed what she needed, and she was determined to get what she needed. Jesus said that the unjust judge said to himself, “though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.” Jesus further said, “Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him; will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Verses 7 and 8). Do we have enough faith in our Father to boldly ask and keep asking for what we need, and dare believe that He will give us everything we need! We should exercise shameless audacious faith when making our requests known unto our God!
Additional Scripture References
And so it is with prayer—keep on asking and you will keep on getting; keep on looking and you will keep on finding; knock and the door will be opened. Everyone who asks, receives; all who seek, find; and the door is opened to everyone who knocks. Luke 11:9-10
Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9
And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him. 1 John 5:14