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Luke 11:5-13

The Word of God

Unpublished

And he said to them, 'Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, "Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him." And he answers from within, "Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything." I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
'So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!'

Luke 11:5-13
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus reminds us of the importance of intercession, of asking for what we need. In Luke we have two great stories of asking with perseverance – that of the widow and the unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8) and this reading of the friend at night. As friends of the Lord (John 15:13-15) may we have the courage to ask and the freedom the accept the Lord’s response to us.
    • Asking for something for ourselves does not come readily to many of us. It can be easier to ask for a favour for someone else. We know God is the giver of every good gift and will give us what is for our good. We pray for the faith to believe and the perseverance to continue to ask in the spirit of this Gospel reading.
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    • Prayer demands practice and perseverance, courage and confidence. “Ask”, “seek” and “knock”. We may ask for the wrong thing, but we will receive what we need, rather than what we want. This trust should be at the root of all prayer.
    • Jesus makes it clear that we must never give up praying. The Father is the source of infinite riches and he is willing to meet our needs abundantly. But we must first ask. Lord, help me to ask confidently, expectantly and joyfully for my needs and the needs of others at this time.
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    • Jesus chooses a rather peculiar story to teach the disciples about perseverance in prayer. A nighbour comes to disturb a friend and his family in the middle of the night for a loaf of bread. He will not take no for an answer. Troubles and worries often come to us in the middle of the night when all our work is one and our family or friends are asleep. We can feel overwhelmed while everyone thinks that we are coping well.
    • Jesus teaches us to continue to voice our concerns clearly to God without fear. “For everyone who knocks, the door will be opened”. God the Father will surely send the Holy Spirit into our hearts.Then, at the least we will be able to do the next right thing even if we cannot yet see far into the future.
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    • I look back to times when I asked and was given, sought and found, knocked and it was opened to me. I also bring to mind when I was not given, when I did not find, and when the door stayed shut. In all simplicity I ask the Lord for faith and trust, for freedom at looking at my relationship with him.
    • If I am a parent, I can understand very well what Jesus says at the end of this passage. I too ask to be given the Holy Spirit by my loving Father.
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    • I look back to times when I asked and was given, sought and found, knocked and it was opened to me. I also bring to mind when I was not given, when I did not find, and when the door stayed shut. In all simplicity I ask the Lord for faith and trust, for freedom at looking at my relationship with him.
    • If I am a parent, I can understand very well what Jesus says at the end of this passage. I too ask to be given the Holy Spirit by my loving Father.
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    • In this parable Jesus gives the example of a friend who is reluctant to be disturbed but who gives in under persistent requests. The message is a simple one: keep trying, persisting until you get a result.
    • 'The Father will give the Holy Spirit'. Do I thank the Father for his gifts? Do I thank him for this gift? For Luke, the Holy Spirit is the supreme gift of God to believers; the the source of all ‘good things’. How frequently do I pray for a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit in my heart and in my life?
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    • Asking, searching, knocking, are the actions of someone in need. The theme of prayer continues in today’s gospel. The question Jesus raises is faith. Do you believe that God the Father will give if you ask?
    • Human generosity and care, especially for our own children, is evident. If we can be generous surely God can too. But do I believe that God listens?
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    • Do I believe that prayer and praying works? I recall those instances where my persistence in prayer paid off. I ask myself whether it was just hard-headedness or whether it helped me become more open to God's love and care for me and my loved ones. Again I ask Jesus to teach me to pray better.
    • I pray for childlike trust in God and his love for me. I pray for the ability to trust him when my prayers are not answered, and ask for his Holy Spirit.
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    • Jesus gives the example of a friend who is reluctant to be disturbed but who gives in under persistent requests. He says he is not that sort of friend. Rather he wants me to persevere in my requests and says that he will give me what I need but not always what I want. I ask Jesus to guide me in knowing the difference.
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    • There are people to whom I would like to be generous, there maybe some to whom I would give anything. Can I imagine that, in God’s eyes, I am one of those people? God may not seem to give me everything I ask, but arranges what is for my good and lasting benefit. I pray for the trust I need.
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    • Jesus sees his Father as a God who is always ready to give me what is best for me. Do I believe that God is like this? He is also telling me that persistent prayer is rewarded because the act of prayer is the work of the Holy Spirit and a gift from God.
    • Lord, I thank you. You escort me through these difficult times of great need and uncertainty. Please increase my understanding of your loving ways. I ask now that you bestow on me, through the power of the Holy Spirit, a deeper courage, strength and joy.
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    • God is gracious and willing to respond to all our needs, far surpassing the natural disposition of a parent or a friend. May I truly believe that when I ask it will be given to me; when I search that I will find; and that when I knock, the door will be opened for me.
    • For Luke, the Holy Spirit is the supreme gift of God to believers; the Holy Spirit is in fact the source of all ‘good things’. How frequently do I pray for a greater out-pouring of the Holy Spirit in my heart and in my life?
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    • I bring different intentions to my prayer as my priorities shift. I review what is really important to me and see what I might let go.
    • I ask God for the faith I need. My prayer may be less in the waiting for the answer than in approaching God with a child’s confident trust.
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    • We may feel we have been knocking at the door of God for years in prayer for ourselves or for someone else; we may feel tired of asking. What does it mean that we always receive? Prayer is always heard by God, not always answered as we might wish. We can ask ourselves what we receive by knocking at the door of God or by asking for years. We receive something of God's love and Holy Spirit every time we pray.