THE FRIEND AT MIDNIGHT

BIBLE REFERENCE
Bible (cl)

Lk 11:5-13
"Which of you, if you go to a friend at midnight, and tell him, Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him, and he from within will answer and say, Don't bother me. The door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give it to you. I tell you, although he will not rise and give it to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will get up and give him as many as he needs. I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he won't give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he asks for an egg, he won't give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, 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?

The point being made is that persistence is worth it. Keep seeking!
In church circles this is often taken as persistence in prayer,
strangely assuming that our prayers are not always answered;
that God does not know what we need and provide it,
without our persistent prayers.

Surely, if God is what the prayers assume, He will provide whether or not we pray.
The verbal expression of our desires is for the benefit of human ears.
Our persistent and often aggressive behaviour is often a sham
exposing our own holy, caring or power-filled nature.

Much of the charismatic fervour of the healing preacher is self delusion,
brought about, maybe, by seeing God in our own image
by the mistaken concept of a controllable divinity,
which lies at the heart of pagan ritual.

Prayer is truly there to expose and discover the will of God,
to point out what would help us, all, to fulfil that will.
We each need to go out; to seek; to find our own pathway,
not travel meekly down the track beaten down by another.
Seeking is an outgoing and very individual activity,
not the passive acceptance of what others say.
That is the curse of the faithful congregation.


Yet it has always been the case that a leader attracts followers,
who often divert progress into pathways consistent with the leader's vision.
The leader can then become blinded by the glow of greatness
reflected in the eyes of the faith-filled followers.

Would that we could all clearly see, with God's eyes, the effect of what we pray for,
then we would be able to pray, as Jesus commonly did, in God's will
and thereby receive not what we ask for
but what we truly need.