Some aspects of prayer are a mystery while others are straight forward. In Luke 11:8, Jesus tells us plainly how to be effective in prayer.
I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.
– Luke 11:8
Jesus drives home the point of the preceding parable in hyperbolic language, as He typically does.
The parable’s petitioner will not receive anything just because he asks his friend. The only way the seeker will prevail is if he asks with impudence, or “shameless audacity” (NIV).
Jesus’ point about how we need to pray is clear. Asking is not enough and a good relationship with God is not enough. We must learn to keep asking, keep knocking, and keep seeking (Luke 11:9). We must be determined to not give up and do whatever is necessary to seek God until He responds.
Jesus promises us that those who pray like this will definitely receive (Luke 11:10). What will they receive? They may receive many good things from the Father, but they will certainly receive the best gift – the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). And how much we need the Holy Spirit’s greater presence in our lives and nation!
So we must ask ourselves:
Are we merely asking or are we audacious and shameless as we relentlessly pursue God’s presence and power for ourselves, our family, our community, and our nation?
Why do our prayers not prevail? It may be that we lack the impudence that God is looking for.
Father God, if we have fallen into a rut of lifeless prayer, get us out! Remind us how important our prayers are, especially when they are impudent. Give us faith. We renounce unbelief. Deepen our desperation. We renounce worldliness and self-indulgence. Let us understand the great spiritual needs around us and have the heart to pray until You move. We pray in Jesus’ name, as He taught us, amen.
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