“I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.”
Read Luke 11:5-8
- In this parable who has a need?
- Who works at addressing that need?
- Why is the need finally met?
God can only answer our prayers if we ask him. Because we are friends of God he will bless us and watch over us but he wants us to ask him to meet our needs. This man was answered by his friend not because he was a friend, but because of the man’s boldness in asking. However, we cannot forego the friendship aspect because we cannot be so bold with someone we do not know.
- A friendship with God is even greater than a just a relationship with God
It is common to lament that we did not have a choice in who would be our family. We have a relationship with them regardless whether we want it or not. A friendship is much greater than a relationship and requires more than just knowing a person.
- Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command”
- Abraham believed God… and he was called God’s friend.
Motives in Prayer
God sees and knows our motives when we pray. When we pray with selfish motives God knows. In the case of the man who went to his neighbor at midnight, the man’s motive was to be hospitable to another person and that was an honorable motive. If the man had been throwing a party and ran out of wine and had gone to his neighbor at midnight, the result may not have been the same. (A party in today’s sense, not like the one that Jesus turned water into wine.)
We can boldly ask for a lot of things but simply asking does not guarantee our receiving. James tells us that when we ask we do not receive because we ask with wrong motives. When we pray, we must ask with the right motives, and that God would ultimately be glorified in the answering of the prayer. Even when we pray for others we can have selfish motives and we must be sure that our motives are pure and that God will be glorified in the answering of our prayer.
Adapted from With Christ in the School of Prayer