Luke 11:5-13 “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; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 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.’ 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. “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. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
In a culture of hospitality this story is not only unusual it is funny. No one would stay in bed. That is the point.
Jesus teaches his disciples and us how to ask for what we need.
- Know what you need, be specific. Culturally asking for 3 loaves meant “I need enough for a man’s meal.” It means ‘provision for an unexpected guest.’ Not necessarily loaves, it could be anything substantial. Two loaves meant the unexpected guest was a woman. The unexpected may have occurred, so ask for what is needed.
- It is not impossible. Just because the door is not only closed but locked; just because the answer is NO; this does not render it impossible.
- Do not be afraid of what others think. The children are in bed in what is most probably a one-room house and there is danger they will be wakened. Your asking disturbs.
- Don’t think there is no need to ask because God already knows. Jesus says if you want to be given to then to get the door of provision open you must ask, seek and knock. That is just the way.
- You are not direct enough. The Message says “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in.”
- You are not selfish. There is never the perfect time to ask. It is midnight. The time is what it is. Ask now.
- You don’t think you are good at praying. This man had nothing to give his guest but he knew where to go. Having nothing is not as bad as having nowhere to go or not knowing what to say when you get there. Jesus leads us to the Father and he knows how to give good gifts to those who simply ask.
So get asking right now!