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Summary: Most of us have "no soliciting" signs at our doors - God has one that says: "Please solicit!"

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NO SOLICITING WITH US

1. No soliciting

- Signs at home

- "We are happy with our current religious, political, and buying choices. Please don't pester us to change. No soliciting."

- ‎"Please respect our privacy. No soliciting."

- Signs at church

2. Identification

- The friend answers from his bed, 'Don't bother me. The door's locked; my children are all down for the night; I can't get up to give you anything.'

3. Relationship

- He tried it at a friend's house

- not cold-call door-knocking

4. Make yourself heard

- if you stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors, he'll finally get up and get you whatever you need.

GOD DOES NOT HAVE A NO SOLICITING SIGN

1. With God the story is different. His sign reads: Please solicit

- Here's what Jesus is saying: Ask and you'll get; Seek and you'll find; Knock and the door will open.

- Famous quote

- Neighbor's kids: ask for water, seek their ball in our backyard, knock and ask for Marie to come out and play

- Daytime fine, in the middle of the night that would be a whole different story with me

2. With God the story is different. His son is all grown up

- God does not have a baby that he does not want to be woke up in the middle of the night

- Truly available 24/7

3. He is a friend

- Jesus reminds us that asking God is asking a friend

- not some transcendent deity

4. Soliciting Prayer

- talking to God is called prayer

- "Ask and you'll get; Seek and you'll find; Knock and the door will open" famously expresses the hope that our prayers will be heard

SOLICITING PRAYER

1. Words

- Does anyone remember what the man is asking his friend for and why?

- The words we use in our prayers do matter big time!

- If we don't take them seriously we are wasting our time and the door will not be opened because we are not as direct as Jesus wants us to be

- The original request was: 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread. An old friend traveling through just showed up, and I don't have a thing on hand.'

- Let us take a look at the three crucial parts of this prayer

2. Friend, lend me three loaves of bread.

- exactly know what you need

- exactly know who you are talking to and why

- reasonably expect him or her to be able to help you with what you are asking for

3. An old friend traveling through just showed up

- so actually here we have another man knocking on a friend's door, starting a chain reaction

- the guy asking for bread already opened his door for a friend in the middle of the night

- he's not even exactly asking for himself but he wants to be able to extend hospitality beyond measure

- before asking, seeking, knocking himself he answered his friend's asking, seeking, knocking

4. I don't have a thing on hand.

- I am nothing if it weren't for you

- I can't do anything without you

- God be with me even in the middle of the night. Amen.


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