Parable of the Friend in Need – Sermon Application #2
In the parable of the friend in need (Luke 11:5-13), the friend presenting the need provides us with a wonderful illustration of the “importunity” that God desires in prayer (Luke 11:8). Pastor Vradenburgh explained that the closest synonym is probably the word “impudence.” We might even define “importunity” as “shameless persistence.”
Prayer application 1
Do you ever feel like you are bothering God when you make requests to Him? It may seem like humility to apologize to God for disturbing Him with our requests, but, unlike the man in the parable who was in bed and reluctant to help, God is eager to hear our requests and willing to answer them. As Pastor Vradenburgh encouraged us, “Let’s quit apologizing to God for asking too much!”
Far from being a burden to the Lord, the prayers of the upright are His delight (Prov. 15:8, 29; Song. 2:14; Ps. 141:2; Rev. 5:8, 8:3-4)! The Bible says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Php. 4:6; see also 1 Pet. 5:7) “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His highest willingness (Richard Trench, English Pastor).”
Prayer application 2
Have you ever asked God for something in prayer, but after several times requesting it, concluded that it must not be God’s will? Often, this is a “cop-out” for not being shamelessly persistent in our prayers. We are taught to keep asking, believing that we receive as we ask, until we have the answer from God (Matt. 7:7; Mark 11:24; Luke 11:8, 18:1-8; Matt. 15:21-28; Gen. 32:24-28).
On the other hand, have you ever thought that to keep asking for something would be unbelief? Have you thought that you should ask only once, and then simply thank God for the answer until you see it manifested? This also is an error, since scripture teaches us to continue asking until the answer is manifested (Matt. 26:36-44; 2 Cor. 12:8; 1 Kings 18:41-46).
Prayer application 3
Have you ever thought that since God knows everything, there is no need to be specific in our prayers? Even though it is true that God is omniscient and knows our needs before we pray (Matt. 6:8, 32; Luke 12:30; Ps. 38:9), He tells us in His Word that we must make our requests known unto Him (Php. 4:6). It is wrong to neglect specific requests and simply resign ourselves to praying, “Thy will be done.” Instead, we ought to make our requests to God and then say, as Jesus, “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done (Luke 22:42).”
The more aligned our requests are with God’s will as it is revealed in Scripture, the more confidence we can have in obtaining our desire (1 Jhn. 5:14-15; Jhn. 15:7). As we learned on Sunday, one request that we should be making with undying tenacity is that we would be given more of the Holy Spirit–more of His transforming, empowering, instructing, cleansing, and Christ-glorifying work in our hearts (compare Luke 11:13 with Matt. 7:11).