We are told to keep on asking, seeking and knocking. All three verbs are continual: Jesus is not speaking of single event, but of those that continue in earnest perseverance. These metaphors speak of a seriousness and passion; all too often, our prayers are merely desires cast up to heaven, this is not real prayer.
Jesus encourages fervency and constancy in our prayer commitment. We must come for what we need, as a man does to his friend or neighbour. If God does not answer our prayers speedily, yet He wills, in an appropriate time, if we do not lose heart but continue to pray.
We need to ask for the Holy Spirit, to show us what is necessary to pray for and to ask our heavenly Father for all His spiritual wisdom. For it is by the influence of the Holy Spirit that we are brought into the knowledge of God and ourselves. He leads us to repent, to believe in, and to love Jesus as our Lord.
All these blessings our heavenly Father is more ready to bestow on everyone that asks for them, more than a generous parent is to give food to a hungry child. And this is the advantage of the prayer of faith, that it quiets and establishes the heart of God. What can we expect from God, especially when we recognize that He doesn’t owe us anything and that we don’t deserve His grace and favour?
Jesus used this illustration of late-night guest to teach his listeners an important principle about how God treats us in contrast to the kind of treatment we might expect from friends or neighbors.
The rule of hospitality in biblical times required the collaboration of the entire community in entertaining an unexpected late-night guest. Whether the guest was hungry or not, a meal would be served. In a village it would be easy to know who had baked bread. Bread was essential for a meal because it served as an instrument for dipping and eating from the common dishes. Asking for bread from one’s neighbour was both a common occurrence and an expected favour. To refuse to give bread would bring shame because it was a sign of inhospitality.
If a neighbour can be imposed upon and coerced into giving bread in the middle of the night, how much more hospitable is God, who, no matter what the circumstances, is generous and gracious to give us what we need.
“How much more will the heavenly Father give!” v13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
The Lord is ever ready to give us not only what we need, but more than we can expect. He gives freely of His Holy Spirit that we may share in His life and joy.
Do you approach your heavenly Father with confidence in His mercy and kindness? “Heaven Father, you are merciful, gracious and kind. May I never doubt your love nor hesitate to seek you with confidence in order to obtain the gifts, graces, and daily provision I need to live as your disciple and child.”