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“Teach Us To Pray” (And the Surprising Answer)

The point of his illustration is that friendship itself is the reason we can persist. The reason we can be so bold to knock on the door at midnight is that we know our rude behavior will not sever the relationship. We can continue to ask, seek, and knock because we know the heart of the one we are bothering. He’s our friend. The kind of friend for whom the rules don’t count.

Teach Us to Pray – 5 Lessons

We don’t have to wait for the “proper time” to come and ask. If the situation calls for it, bang on the door in the middle of the night. That’s what real friends are for.

The friendship door swings both ways: the second friend is comfortable in the relationship, too. So comfortable, in fact, that the first answer might be, “Don’t bother me!” Does our picture of God allow for the possibility that I could press through the first answer? Would you ever ask God to change his mind?

When my friend does answer, he will give me “as much as I need.” Friends don’t keep score: what’s yours is mine, and vice versa. The basis for his generosity is the relationship, not the rules of etiquette.

I can have the boldness to keep on asking when I’m asking on behalf of someone else. Remember how the story starts? There’s a third party in the picture. They are the ones who will eat the bread; they are the ones in need. Jesus is suggesting that when we pray out of our need to bless others, God is more than generous, but how many times have I limited my prayers to my needs?

Finally, Jesus is unafraid to mix metaphors. Just as the power of this imaginary scene is beginning to sink in, Jesus begins to talk about fathers, children, and the Holy Spirit (verses 11-13). Can we turn our imagination in still more directions?

This article on teach us to pray originally appeared here, and is used by permission.