Pray!

We are most alive, most human, when we pray.

The friend in his house may say “do not bother me!” But a good father does not. My children will approach me at two a.m., shake me and tell me they have a need … “so and so is crying,” or “I feel sick,” or “I had a scary dream,” or whatever. No respectful introduction, no box of chocolates, just an unhesitating boldness. God is our Father, he wants us to bother him.

 

In Luke 11:5-7, Jesus drops a little parable in after teaching the disciples “the Lord’s Prayer” – it is one of those, “which of you…” type stories.  If your friend shows up in the middle of the night, you will go to your neighbour to get the food you need to show hospitality, right?  Right.  And your neighbour won’t be delighted at you waking up his household, but he will give you the bread you need because of your … persistence?  No, that is not the word here.  Impudence.  Temerity.  Shamelessness.  Audacity.

Some thoughts from this parable in its context and its application to us:

1. Father God.  This kind of audacious boldness would work with a friend next door.  But a far more familiar situation may be in view here.  After all, Jesus has just taught his disciples to call God, Father (v2).  He will conclude the section by underlining the graciousness of God the Father (v13).

Jesus did not teach us to call God, Boss.  When we talk to our boss we tend to negotiate, pointing out our good performance or avoiding the boss when we have failed to reach targets.  Our focus is on what we might gain, rather than the security we feel in the forever compassion of a good good father.

Jesus did not teach us to call God, Genie.  If we pray like God is a genie then we will focus on rubbing the lamp properly.  What is the right approach?  How can I say enough adoration, confession and thanksgiving to activate the mechanism and get what I want?  Again, the focus is on my technique and not God’s goodness.

Jesus told us to call God, Father.  Shamelessly.  Audaciously.

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