Monday, January 11, 2010

Prayer between friends

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Luke 11:9-10

knock on door

Jesus, by His example and in His teaching, shows us that prayer involves effort and hard work. That is the point of the short parable in Luke 11:5-13. The focus is that the person in need makes effort to request from someone who should care for him. I love it that the parable is about a friend in need going to another friend who can help. Even in an inconvenient time, friendship overrides the difficulty. The point is that God will treat His people like His friends.

Jesus tells this tale to make the point that relationship drives two things in prayer. First, it drives the Father to concern because “he is his friend.” God acts out of love when He responds to our prayers. It is not formulaic. It is relational. And that is often forgotten in our mundane and routine thoughts about prayer.

The second observation about prayer involves our effort in praying. It involves active commitment on our part, It is an asking, which is the basis of request prayer. It is seeking which brings with it the need to be worshipful and have an attitude of respectful expectation. And it is knocking, indicating that sometimes we have to stay at the task until the door that is between us and our Friend is opened and the answer is given.

Jesus teaches that prayer with God as our friend is a rewarding relationship. God hears us. When we ask, we receive an answer. When we seek God, He never hides from us and we will find Him. When we knock at His door, He is always ready to open to His children, not because He is obligated to us, but because He loves those who respectfully come to Him as to their eternal Friend.