Prayer and Audacity

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 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.’ 8 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.  Lk 11:5–8
There are two accounts of Jesus teaching the Lord's Prayer and one happens right before this parable in the book of Luke. Needless to say, the parable that follows right after the Lord's Prayer serves to elaborate on Jesus' point about prayer. This parable is interesting and tells us much about prayer. We shall dissect the parable and look into the intricacy of the account.

Firstly, the situation that Jesus described was culturally a desperate situation. Ancient eastern culture values hospitality a lot and it is perhaps not an exaggeration to say that the protagonist of the parable was desperate to show hospitality to his friend who has come to him at midnight. As inconvenient as it was, it means that he has to serve the friend food and he did not have. He could lose face and in some instances, such as the wedding in John 2, the host could even be brought to court. So desperate as it is, Jesus was describing that we may have desperate situations on hand that we need to seek help on.

This brings us to the next dissection. It is another level of inconvenience for the one who is being harassed for the bread. We note that it was midnight and any sane person that period of time would have gone to sleep and would have entered into REM mode. But this guy was brought to a place of inconvenience, was jolted out of his sleep because of someone who did not prepare enough food in his place in case of a sudden visit. The story hence could have ended with the man going back disappointed and the neighbour continuing to sleep.

But the desperate host was desperate enough to be audaciously shameless and shamelessly audacious. He probably kept knocking? We don't know but we know that his requests were granted due to his shamelessness.

So what are the implications for us? I think it shows that on the part of us, the prayer warriors, we dun need to be 客气 in our prayer. If there is something that is desperate enough, we ask God for help. It also shows that we need to trust that God will answer our desperate prayers, or non-desperate prayers. Indeed, the aftermath of this parable, Jesus further elaborated that we ask and it will be given, we knock and the door will be opened and we seeks and we will find. Three different things, but one emphasis - God will answer our prayers.


Popular posts from this blog

Parable of the 'Good Samaritan'

Iakobou Epistode: From Confusion to Clarity