(video is part 2 of sermon) This parable of the Friend at Midnight is about prayer. However, it is not a lesson on prayer for just anyone. It is for the disciple of Christ. It is taking what they/we already knew/know about prayer and raising it to a new dimension.

PARABLES OF JESUS

By Pastor Delbert Young

Prayer, Friend At Midnight

Prayer, Friend at Midnight

Scriptures: Luke 11:8, Luke 11:1, Colossians 1:13, Luke 11:9-10
Video part 2

This parable is a parable about prayer. However, it is not a lesson on prayer for just anyone. It is for the disciple of Christ. It is taking what they already knew about prayer and raising it to a new dimension.

Luke 11:5-13

Luke 11:8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.

Once again we note the importance of context in studying the scriptures. The context of this parable was one of the disciples observed the Lord praying. As he witnessed him praying, he said, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples (Luk 11:1).

Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

We note a few important thoughts from Luke 11:1. The Lord had been praying. This was of no surprise. The Lord prayed often.

Jesus prayed at his baptism and heaven opened (Luk 3:21).

Jesus would go off alone in the wilderness and pray (Luk 5:16; 9:18).

Jesus would take his disciples off to pray (Luk 9:28).

Jesus would sometimes pray all night (Luk 6:12).

Jesus had a certain place where he enjoyed praying (Luk 11:1).

We are constantly reading in the gospels where Jesus prayed. We need to ask, “If it was important for Jesus, the Son of God, to pray, is it not important for me to pray?”

Also we note the Lord was praying in a certain place. The Lord prayed everyplace, but there was a certain place. Years ago we studied Abraham. Abraham planted a grove and there he called upon the name of the Lord. Abraham had a certain place. We should have a certain place to pray. We can and should pray everyplace, but there is a certain place seeming to be the best place for us to pray.

John, a man of prayer

This one disciple had noticed the consistency in Christ’s prayer life. He desired to pray also. His question was, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. The reference is to John the Baptist. We remember John as this weird prophet wearing camel hair clothes and eating locusts and honey. The disciples of Jesus remember John as a man of prayer and as a man who taught the importance of prayer. In what way are you remembered concerning prayer? How do your children relate you with a consistent prayer life? Do you pray always, or pray only when things are tough? Though filled with the Holy Ghost in his mother’s womb, he continued to be a man of prayer.

Teach us to pray

One of the more interesting thoughts we see in Luke 11:1 and an important thought to interpreting this passage is it was when Jesus ceased praying the one of his disciples said, teach us to pray. The disciple obviously observed something in the way Jesus prayed. There was something different. There was something distinctive about the way Jesus prayed. What could this be? Isn’t it interesting this disciple did not ask the Lord teach him to preach or work miracles? He didn’t ask Jesus to teach them what to say when they prayed. Teach us to pray was the request.

Have you ever had someone to ask you to teach them to pray? When we ponder on this point a minute, we realize we have not been asked it would be because there is nothing special about our prayer life provoking a person to ask to be taught. This was not the case with the Lord. This disciple wanted what the Lord possessed concerning prayer.

The Lord responded to the disciple by giving him five issues to pray about. We can conclude these were the issues the Lord prayed. In this dimension the prayer would be the Lord’s Prayer. Let’s quickly overview the prayer.

When you pray, say . . .

Prayer is more than thought. Prayer is the release of words and in the economy of God, the release of words is powerful. Our words justify or condemn us (Mat 12:37). Words have a creative ability (Mar 11:23). We can say to mountains and say to trees. Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Pro 18:21). We eat the fruit of our words. All of these aspects of our words are released in prayer. When you pray, say… We are to talk about some things when we pray. There are five issues we should pray about. Let’s look briefly at each.

1. Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

When we pray, we are to first realize Our Father God is in heaven. Prayer is based upon sonship, not friendship. We realize our Father is in control of the universe. He is in control of every situation we are in or will ever be in. He is in heaven! Hallowed be thy name! We are in the family, the name, of God and our Father will make certain we are cared for. Recognizing God is our Father and he actually does rule the universe, we build our faith and have confidence in our prayer.

2. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Next we desire the kingdom to come. The Lord’s kingdom is the answer to the woes of the earth. We realize the kingdom does not come with observation (Luk 17:20-21). It is within us. Though with us, we were translated into it when God delivered us from the power of darkness.

Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

We want his kingdom to come in people. When his kingdom comes in the lives of people, his will can be done in the lives of people. What is his will for my life? If I am in his kingdom, then I should be accomplishing his will on earth. This can be discussed with the Lord as we pray.

3. Give us day by day our daily bread.

The Lord expects and desires us to discuss our needs with him. Notice the Lord said, Give us day by day our daily bread. Our needs change daily. It really is day by day. What I need today from the Lord, I hope I do not need tomorrow or next year. The things our church needs today from the Lord, I trust will not be needs next year.

4. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.

In Matthew’s gospel this thought is stated, And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors (Mat 6:12). Luke says, And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. We can expect forgiveness for (because) we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. Our being forgiving by God is directly related to and in comparison with our forgiving others.

5. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

Even following the Lord’s leading will take us into situations where we can be tempted and find evil. For example, I was asked once as a member of a ministerial association to view some pornographic material to determine if it was suitable for the community. It was a request by the sheriff’s office and was very sincere. I declined because attempting to do right would bring me into a place I just did not need to go. An alcoholic should not witness to people in a bar.

It was at this point the Lord shared the parable. The inclusion of these five points will produce a powerful effective prayer life. But obviously the disciple had noted something more. The request was Teach us to pray. It was not teach us what to pray. Jesus went through those five points or elements of prayer. Then, to answer the request, Jesus leaped into a story. Jesus gave the essence of prayer, but, said But sometimes you will need to take it a little further than these pointsHere is how you pray.

The Parable

The parable is about you having a need in the middle of the night. The Lord said, which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight . . . To supply the need, you called upon a person you considered a friend. Most likely, a person you would bother late at night would be a friend. It was late and your friend and his household was asleep. Still, the need was enough you went to the friend’s house and began knocking on the door waking your friend. You explained the need to your friend. However, the friend did not see the need as urgent. He did not want to wake his house. Your friend felt the need could wait until tomorrow. However, to you, the need required attention now. Because of this, you continued asking for the help of the friend to the point you became rude and loud. The point of the parable is then given. The Lord said,

Luke 11:8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.

The friend did not respond to you because he was your friend. He responded to you because of importunity. The Greek word translated importunity is only used this one time. It is the Greek word anaideia (Strong’s #335 [pronounced an-ah’-ee-die-ah’ ]) meaning shamelessness or rude. It was because you were shameless and rude you got what you needed.

importunity

0335 anaideia {an-ah’-ee-die-ah’}

shamelessness, impudence [rudeness]

The Lord then said,

Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Luke 11:10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

ask

We have all asked the Lord in prayer in a request and immediately the prayer was answered. These are the easy prayers. All we do is ask and it is given us. How wonderful are those times? But this is not a total teaching on how to pray.

seek

There have also been times we asked and nothing happened. We either discontinued praying concerning our request, or began moving into importunity. We began to seek. We began to seek the Lord and seek to find the reason the prayer was not answered. Why? Is it me? Is it because of something I did? Is it something I am doing incorrectly? What is the problem? In the parable, you asked the friend, Why? Is there a reason you will not do this for me? Did I do something wrong? When prayers are not answered, we need to seek.

Often it is at these times we actually do discover something we are doing incorrectly. An example, is a person asking the Lord to heal them of high blood pressure. Upon seeking, the person discovers their diet is one encouraging high blood pressure. Another example is a person asking the Lord for a job. Upon seeking, it is discovered the person has not applied for any jobs. Another example is asking the Lord for a financial breakthrough when the problem is we spend more than comes in. There is the joke about the woman asking the Lord to allow her to win the lottery. The Lord said to her to at least purchase a ticket.

We correct the problem and the prayer is answered. We find the answer. He that seeketh findeth. We are now on the way to learning how to pray. There is one more step.

knock

However, there are times we ask, and nothing happens. We seek, but find no reason for the prayer not being answered. If we are moving in the example the Lord has given here concerning prayer, then it is time to knock. Knocking is the next step in importunity. In the parable, you continued knocking until you awoke the friend. When the friend was awake, you continued asking and seeking until you got all you wanted. You became rude and shameless. The thought here is to do the same. Keep knocking until the door opens. When the door opened, you got the bread.

Awhile back a man shared with us how he moved in importunity. He had been asking the Lord for some things, but nothing was happening. He looked at his life and had decided there was nothing apparent in his life that should stop the Lord from doing what he was asking. The individual actually knocked on (struck) the dash of his truck. He knocked so hard that the knock cracked the dash. He moved in importunity. What happened? His prayer was answered very soon after this event.

My son-in-law felt the same way. Soon after the “dash knocking” event was shared, my son-in-law told his wife he felt like they should knock on a dash meaning they should move into importunity. He tithed and did all he felt he was to do. They felt they were doing nothing to stop what he was asking. However, he did not have the financial breakthrough he thought he should have for the time he spent in grad school. He moved into importunity. Not long after he is making six digits.

My nearly two-year-old grandson, Jack, already moves in importunity. I take him to K-Mart. Jack loves balls. If he sees one he wants, he will first point at it and say, “Ball.” That means, “I want this ball.” He sort of skips the seeking part and moves straight into knocking. If I don’t get the ball, he begins becoming importunity. Jack gets the ball.

It was because of the importunity you, in the parable, got the bread. The disciple requested the Lord teach them how to pray. This is exactly what the Lord did. There will be times when we have prayed about all the things we need to pray. There will be times we have asked and nothing happened. We need to move into importunity. We must seek to find and even knock to open.

It is interesting to me the disciple had seen something in the prayer life of Jesus stirring them to request Jesus teach him to pray. Obviously he had seen the Lord move into importunity.

Some may say something like, “Well, I just can’t do this.” What can we say? The Lord said to do it. Obviously the Lord did it. We will never know how to pray until we learn importunity.

Other Related Sermons:

Prayer, Friend At Midnight pt 3 – sermon video audio notes

Easter Blood Sacrifice – sermon video audio notes

What Then? – Easter sermon video audio notes