Knock Knock...my neighbors, the Zavaletas come to our door frequently, usually something to eat in hand and ready to share; a very compassionate, giving, "thinking always of others" type family. Isn't that a great example to set for your kids? The tables are turned in this parable of Jesus that I journaled on a while back. The neighbor actually needs to ask for some food. Unexpected guests arrived. Late in the evening, and preoccupied with other things, his neighbor was not too accommodating at first.Twenty-four hour Wal-Mart? Well, they had their open-air markets, but not quite 24 hours yet. A man's reputation as a host really mattered in those days. If Twitter were around back then, this unprepared person would have been slammed as very inhospitable to his arriving guests. He did not want his reputation to be the talk of the Jerusalem Star News. So what is Jesus trying to teach us here? ... To bug our neighbors for last minute things? I don't think so.
This is another lesson Jesus is teaching on prayer. He wants us to see the persistent neighbor, knocking and asking, not giving up...as how we should be in prayer. When we pray for something, be persistent. From the Greek it translates, boldness with confidence. (Check out Hebrews 4:11). We need to pray believing God will answer us. Most importantly, we need to pray with a humble spirit, asking but not demanding and examining our own motive and heart. God's timing is perfect timing and as the persistent neighbor finds out, he is given what he is in need of and more.
Pulling this poem out from my archived journals, it reminds me of the many persistent prayers I prayed, some answered in amazing ways and some, much harder to understand God's answer to. Hopefully, when God answers differently than we expect, it should lead us to another kind of prayer, one in which we ask for understanding and wisdom. There continues to be many persistent prayers. During this Easter weekend, we are reminded that with His death on the cross and His glorious ressurection, Jesus has the power to change things. He is just as powerful today and He works through the hearts and minds of those who believe. If you are a Believer, than Believe! Ask Him for what it is you need! Taking a priority in my life, I still long to spend more time seeking His face.Some may wonder why I just don't give up. Well, because Jesus said to pray continuously without ceasing. He knows how to answer and when to answer, He only asks us to keep asking. May our faithful reward bring Him the Glory.
THE PERSISTENT NEIGHBOR
"Your neighbor, Ira.
I'm outside on the stair".
"Hey, do you know the time?
It's midnight, aren't you sleepy?
What is the problem that cannot wait
Until I have my sleep so deeply".
"Well, a friend of mine has shown up
After traveling so long.
Can you spare three loaves of bread?
To feed him cannot be wrong."
"Go away, do not bother me."
And SLAM, the door is shut.
But he knocks on the door again,
This neighbor will not give up.
Knock , knock once again,
"Please neighbor, be you oh so kind,
I really need this bread
To feed my hungry friend," he whined.
"I'm sleeping and so are my kids,
Do not bug me now again.
I won't get up to answer you,
Wait until morning please, my friend."
Knock, knock, "It's me, Ira,
Persistent neighbor I am.
Just three loaves I need tonight.
Please don't let this door slam."
"Persistent you are,
I will answer your plea.
Here is six loaves and honey,
Plenty of grapes and sweet tea."
Persistent neighbor who asked.
Persistent neighbor who sought.
Persistent neighbor who knocked.
Persistent neighbor, unblessed...NOT!
God instructs us to ask Him,
Given to us, it will be.
God tells us to seek,
He will reveal for us to see!
God allows us to knock,
And the door will never slam.
For every one who persistently seeks,
Will find abundance in His plan!
Inspiration from Luke 11, parable of the persistent friend.
(June 21, 2007)