“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 11:8
When is the last time you could be accused of shameless audacity in regards to your prayer life? What is going on here? What was Jesus saying? If it is true that our heavenly Father is already aware of what we need (Matt. 6:32) why do we need to ask at all? And if we do ask, isn’t once enough? Do we really need to say, “Pretty please?”
Knowing God’s intention to destroy Sodom, Abraham was concerned for his nephew Lot, so much so that he got into a sort of “prayer negotiation,” of which we’ll think much more on this coming Sunday.
Andrew Murray addressed the possible reasons that importunity (persistent pleading, faithful intercession and bold appeal before God) is a key ingredient in prevailing prayer:
Just imagine what the result would be if the child of God had only to kneel down and ask, and get, and go away. What unspeakable loss to the spiritual life would ensue.
It is in the difficulty and delay that calls for persevering prayer, that the true blessing and blessedness of the heavenly life will be found.
We there learn how little we delight in fellowship with God, and how little we have of living faith in Him.
We discover how earthly and unspiritual our heart still is, how little we have of God’s Holy Spirit.
We there are brought to know our own weakness and unworthiness, and to yield to God’s Spirit to pray in us, to take our place in Christ Jesus, and abide in Him as our only plea with the Father.
There our own will and strength and goodness are crucified.
There we rise in Christ to newness of life, with our whole will dependent on God and set upon His glory. Do let us begin to praise God for the need and the difficulty of importunate prayer, as one of His choicest means of grace.
David Wells says that….
“nothing destroys petitionary prayer (and with it, a Christian view of God) as quickly as resignation. “At all times,” Jesus declared, “we should pray” and not “lose heart,” thereby acquiescing to what is. (Luke 18:1)
Petitionary prayer, therefore, is the expression of the hope that life as we meet it, on the one hand, can be otherwise and, on the other hand, that it ought to be otherwise.
PRAYER: Rebelling Against the Status Quo
This Sunday, Dave Talley will have us think on that amazing moment of intercession in the life of Abraham, when God listened patiently as he pled for the righteous in Sodom. May God awaken us anew to the beautiful role we are privileged to play in prayer, resulting in a people who…
“…approach God’s throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”