Summary: Importance of persevering in prayer.

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Parable of the friend at midnight

(Luke 11:5-13) 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; {6} for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.' {7} 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.' {8} 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. {9} "So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. {10} For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. {11} Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? {12} Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? {13} 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!"

Application of the parable

Our heavenly Father loves to meet our needs.

Jesus is not comparing the reluctant friend with the heavenly Father; He is contrasting the two. Jesus is not saying that the heavenly Father is like the reluctant friend who needs to be persuaded many times before he would help. He is saying that if even a reluctant friend will give out of a person's persistence, how much more will the heavenly Father give out of our persistence. In verse 13, Jesus says that if we, who are evil, know how to give good things, how much more the heavenly Father. Again, He is contrasting the two.

If we look at another parable, we will have no doubt that Jesus is contrasting and not comparing the heavenly Father with the character in the parable.

(Luke 18:1-8) Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. {2} He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. {3} In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, 'Grant me justice against my opponent.' {4} For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, 'Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, {5} yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'" {6} And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. {7} And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? {8} I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them.

The intention of the two parables are identical. Here it is clear that Jesus could not be comparing the heavenly Father with the wicked judge. Note in verse 7, Jesus said that the response of the heavenly Father will be different. It will be quick as He is more than willing to help us.

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