This week, we have learned from the teachings of Jesus that, for the believer, prayer is expected and prayer can be learned. Jesus also taught His followers to be persistent and consistent with their prayers. Look at the following verses from Luke 11:5-8:
5 He also said to them: “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don’t have anything to offer him. 7 Then he will answer from inside and say, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can’t get up to give you anything. 8 I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his friend’s shameless boldness, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
When the neighbor said, “Don’t bother me! We are already in the bed asleep!” the asking man doesn’t just hang his head, give up, and go home. He keeps knocking at the door saying, “Hey, I need something! A friend of mine has come on a journey and I’m in a bad predicament here!”
So why did the man keep knocking? The answer is found in verse 6 and if you aren’t careful, you will read and skip right over the key to persistent prayer. The man cried out, “I don’t have anything to offer him.” One of our biggest problems with prayer is that since we aren’t real sure that God is going to give us what we are asking for, we always have a Plan B in the back of our minds. “God, will you help me with ______________.” But in our minds, we know that if He doesn’t come through like we want Him too, we will just muddle through on our own.
The man in Luke 11 had no Plan B. When we come to the place where we realize that we don’t have anything to offer, when we have no Plan B, when we are bankrupt on our own with no other alternative, then and only then, will we really get persistent and consistent in our prayers. As long as we pray and make our request to God, but deep in our hearts our attitude is one that says no matter what God does, we will still be okay and get by, we really aren’t praying like Jesus teaches us to pray. We have to get to the place where we realize on our own, we have absolutely nothing to offer.
Are you persistent in your prayers? Have you reached the place where you realize just how bankrupt and destitute you are? Where you have nothing to offer? We must reach the place where you say, “God, you have got to come through for me because I have nothing to offer, I have no Plan B. If you don’t come through for me, I am going to fall flat on my face. God, you have to answer. It’s all up to you.”
Jesus said to His disciples, “Without Me, you can do nothing.” But still we think that we have something to offer. Jesus said, “Without Me, you can do nothing.” But still we think that we can do lots of things. “Without Me, you can do nothing.” But still we think that we can get by on our own. “Without Me, you can do nothing.” But still we think that we can figure it out.
We have to understand that truly, without Jesus, we can do nothing. When we finally get that, then and only then, will we get persistent in our prayers. And then and only then, will our prayers get beyond the ceilings of ourselves.