Monday, January 11

Shameless audacity

Scripture: Genesis 21-22, Proverbs 1, Luke 11

Luke 11:8–9 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. 

9 So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Observation

When Jesus’ disciples ask, “Lord, teach us to pray,” Jesus responds with the Lord’s prayer and a story.  A man receives an unexpected guest in the middle of the night and has nothing to feed him.  Since hospitality was a sacred duty, the man awakened his neighbor, asking to borrow food.  Jesus asked, “Can you imagine the neighbor refusing him?”  The answer in that culture was, “no.”  Jesus explained that the neighbor would get up and give him the food simply because he had the audacity to ask.  It’s not a matter of friendship but need.  If your need is so urgent that you’d shamelessly wake me in the middle of the night, of course I’ll help.  Jesus then adds, “So…ask, and you’ll receive.”

Application

The parable teaches that the first lesson of prayer is to simply ask!  Ask boldly, shamelessly, audaciously.  Let your need drive you to God with your request, and ask!

Sometimes I hedge my bets when praying.  Rather than asking like the man with the emergency—shamelessly, audaciously, clearly, boldly—I find myself scaling my prayers back to what I think God can or will do.  

Imagine a hungry child asking his parents for food.  How does he ask?  “I’m hungry.  Can I have _______?”  He doesn’t try to anticipate the parent’s will.  “Will mom give me an apple or should I just ask for a cracker?”  He just asks.  Simply, boldly, plainly…shamelessly. 

That’s how we should pray.  And Jesus verifies that in verses 11-13, where he uses this very illustration—a child asking a parent for food—as an example of prayer. 

What do you need?  What do you want?  Ask shamelessly.  Then trust your Father to take care of you.

Prayer: Lord, help me to be a more honest, bold and shameless pray-er.  Help me not to hedge my bets, but to pray like a child.