A few days ago I gained a new perspective on prayer.
Or better put, God revealed a heart or mind attitude necessary for receiving.
In Luke 11, after hearing Jesus pray, the disciples ask him to teach them
how they should pray.
In the following 12 verses, Jesus responds by giving them:
A. Words for prayer. (v2-4)
B. An attitude illustration. (v5-8)
C. Instructions on prayer (v9-10)
D. The Father’s heart on answering. (v11-13)
My little mind got a notch of revelation when I read verse 8 in the NIV Bible:
“I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.”
The combination of these two words seem very strange coming out of the mouth of
Jesus. Especially because they’re not used in a negative connotation.
Far from it, Jesus is teaching virtues, points and principles on prayer.
Me personally, I know the words (v2-4), I think I know the Father’s heart (v11-13),
and I’ve heard teaching on the instructions of ask and keep on asking… etc (v9-10).
But shameless audactiy has never been in my list of virtues for answers and breakthrough.
Now, instead of trying to explain or define the words, I instead just take them as written,
but let’s apply this reality to other stories and passages…
Starting with the story in context, one man goes to another in the middle of the night to get
some food or items they needed. He asks, seeks, and knocks continually until
he receives; yet the attitude that helped him receive was (a) he was not ashamed to express
his need, even with a last mintue emergency. And (b) he had the audacity to bang on
his friends door after midnight with expectations of getting exactly what he needed.
My personality would be very timid or what I’d define as humble and try not to pass on
my own burden to another. And, I’d likely go without.
(*Note: God can handle you passing your burden on him. AND people assigned or sent by God to help you can also handle taking your burden!)
What about the woman with the issue of blood? (a) Shame after a decade long of bleeding
would be understandable. However she expressed the opposite. She knelt, crawed and did whatever it took.. And (b) she didn’t really ask Jesus to heal her; instead she sort of snuck up
and TOOK her healing! Not as respectable and meek as I thought was proper behavior.
Now, consider looking at other characters from Jacob to the Apostle Peter. People whose
behavior seemed far from reserved or cautious and yet they had a continous experience of
receiving what they desired.
This is Jesus’ teaching on prayer.
How does a person take 5 talents and turn them into 10?
(I use to just pray for wisdom and witty ideas…)
What kind of person welcomes humiliation or riddicule in an attempt see a person healed?
(If self-exposure or embarassment stops you, would God even give you the revelation of spitting on someone’s eye to bring their healing?)
Words like “boldness” and “faith” are common synonyms in the context here, but they
don’t protect us from being crippled by shame or false humility.
I believe that not only is God waiting on you, but there are likely friends, relatives or even professional associates in your network who have exactly what you are needing to go to your
next level — but you, me, we are passively silent thinking we’re operating in some type of virtue.
Please. Read the Luke 11:1-13 and think again.
Because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.