Because I’ve placed so much emphasis on the ‘what’ in the parable Jesus uses in Luke 11 to teach His disciples how to pray, I’ve unintentionally neglected the importance of highlighting the ‘who’ in this alive and active passage of scripture.
Jesus begins and sets the tone for this parable with these seven words: “Suppose one of you has a friend…”
And that, dear reader, is the whole point.
It’s the theme of friendship that determines the course and outcome of this parable.
It’s friendship that causes the man within the story to go to his friend’s house and ask for three loaves of bread at midnight to feed his unexpected guest.
In other words, the man doesn’t randomly knock on the door of just anyone’s house.
You wouldn’t knock on a stranger’s door and ask for food at such an absurd hour.
This man’s choice is intentional.
It’s based on history… It’s the result of truly knowing a person.
Because he is this man’s friend, he has confidence to make such a ridiculous request at a time when mostly everyone is sleeping.
Because he is this man’s friend, I believe he knew how his friend would respond.
Because he is this man’s friend, I believe he knew his friend had what he was looking for.
Friendship carries multiple benefits.
It’s a relationship that’s based on familiarity, trust, and the mutual exchange of personalities.
In other words, it’s the result of intimate moments.
Friendship caused the man in this parable to know who to go to get what he needed.
What we get from someone is just as important as who we get it from.
In fact, the ‘who’ in this story determines the ‘what.’
Although this man is persistently asking his friend for bread to feed his visitor, the whole point of this parable is that we learn the benefits of friendship with God, and, as a result, ask the Father for what the world is starving for.
According to this parable, the benefit of friendship with God is that you can request the greatest gift of all, the Holy Spirit, at any hour of the day… and you can continue to do so until you receive Him!
When mostly everyone else is slumbering, friendship with God grants you the courage to ask for the Holy Spirit when everything appears to be getting darker.
In fact, I am convinced that the number one sign that you are awake on the inside is evidenced by your asking for a greater baptism in the Holy Spirit.
All that is happening within the world is the midnight groaning of creation that longs to see the sons and daughters of God arise.
This is symbolized by the visitor’s arrival within the parable.
It’s causing the church to wake up and ask for the One that makes God real to us and through us.
And it’s provoking us to knock on the door of our Friend and to persist in asking until we receive our request.
But make no mistake… it’s friendship with God that gives us the blessed assurance of knowing how He will respond.
“…how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13).
It’s friendship with God that causes us to know who to go to and what to ask for.
And it’s friendship with God… the history I have with Him… that allows me to see that He does indeed keep His promises.
This grants me the courage to approach His throne so that I might find help in my time of need.
He invites us to come. He invites us to ask…
It doesn’t matter the time of day… all that matters is that you’d come and come again.
He has promised to give us Who we need if we’d only ask… and not only that… He longs to do it.
- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds
Read the previous blog!