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5. The Friend at Midnight

The Passage:
Luke 11:5-13

The Parameters:

Framed by teaching on prayer: Lords prayer in 1-4 and followed in 11-13 with principles on prayer.

The Problem

The question is what do I do when it seems like there are no answers to prayer.

The Progression


There are four elements dealt with in this parable:

  • Timing
  • Motive - What motivates God to answer our prayers
  • Character of Prayer - what should it look like
  • Character of God -

The Presentation

    The Request (Cause)

In this culture, hospitality is very important. Our character goes to a friend for help in fulfilling the need of another friend. Maybe we should ask the question: Is friendship what motivates prayer? (The answer comes later, but think about it. If you run out of sugar, who are you going to go borrow some from?)

    The Rejection (Effect)

The door is shut - In the Jewish household they often slept on an elevated pallet with mom and dad on each edge and the children in the middle. It’s like going camping with everyone in the tent. You know what it is like. The lamp is out, it is dark and you hate getting up and going to the bathroom.

    The Reversal (8b)

The persistence (Cause) - because the man keeps pounding on the door...

The provision (Effect) - the man will get up and get the bread.

The Point

Be persistent in our prayers to God. If I’m not getting answers to my requests, maybe it is because I’m not being persistent. Persistence results in provision.

The Principles

  • After telling the parable Jesus concludes that they must Ask, Seek and Knock. They must be persistent. If I’m not getting answers to my prayers, it may be because I’m not persistent. Does this describe our prayer lives?
  • In Luk 11:11-13 we move from friendship, to earthly family relationship and finally to a heavenly family relationship. This is a light-heavy argument. If this is true of friends and family, then how much more will it be true of God.
  • The reference of asking for the Holy Spirit is pre-cross. The Holy Spirit had not been sent yet, so this was a legitimate prayer. The biggest need for a child of God is the Holy Spirit. Before Pentecost it was having Him. After Pentecost it is submitting to Him.
  • Because God is a loving Father and desires to meet the needs of His children, the believer may be confident in persistent prayer, not worrying about the consequences. Ask anytime all the time, Seek me anytime all the time, Knock anytime all the time. The Friend came at midnight - any time. Anytime there is a need.
  • What is the motive for God answering? The relationship of father to child which is better than that of a friend. He is a father who wants to meet our needs.

Related Topics: Prayer

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