The Reluctant Neighbour, The Willing God

Posted: 27 June, 2008 in Ponderings
Tags: , , , , , , ,

We are all very familiar with the Lord’s Prayer or Jesus’ sample prayer when He taught the disciples about prayer. However, in the accounts of Luke, His following teachings of a parable is often overshadowed or simply misunderstood.

The Reluctant Neighbour, The Willing God, Dear God...

“Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.   Luke 11:5-8

This parable which I will call it The Reluctant Neighbour, where after a persistent knocking on his door, in an ungodly hour, the reluctant neighbour finally got up and gave as much as his neighbour needed. He did this not because of their friendship but because of his neighbour’s shameless persistence. While we have to understand that our persistent plea quicken God’s justice as taught in the Parable of the Persistent Widow, but we have to wonder if indeed our prayers has to be never-ceasing for them to work or even reach God’s ears?

Jesus uses examples of sinfully humans versus a holy God to illustrates the stark contrast between the two.  “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”  In this, Jesus is encouraging disciples to come and ask boldly; and more importantly, with the great expectation of good stuff!


So going back, the parable speaks of a most willing God in contrast to the reluctant neighbour. It is not about our arm-twisting God with our persistence or our performance in prayer. It is no longer sucking it in and pressing on to persevere in prayer. I am sure God hear it loud and clear the first time round! (actually, He knows it before you even utter the first word) It is not about us praying it correctly, impressively, repetitively or even lengthly enough. It is about God and His willingness even at an “terrible inconvenience” and a very personal price. Prayer is not about who we are and what we want, it is about who God is and how eager lovingly generous He is!

The Reluctant Neighbour, The Willing God, threesixtyfive - day 168

Praying is a wonderfully relationship time with God; a tremendous privilege only the very children of God can have. It is like coming home to God. Prayer is not using God but finding Him and delighting at His Presence! We will then find ourselves in a place where He wants us to be; adoring right at His feet. And in bonus, God’s loving promise that anything whatever you ask, seek, knock will be fulfilled.

He wants you to keep seeking Him, y’know, He has way plenty to offer!

  1. Susan Loke says:

    Excellent, you are the few rare ones who got it right.

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