What Jesus Did! 'Persistence!' — Luke 11:5-8

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

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Then, teaching [his disciples] more about prayer, [Jesus] used this story: "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 NLT

Key Thought

One of the ways the rabbis often reasoned with people in Jesus' day was by comparing a lesser thing with a greater one. This type of comparison is all that is possible when saying something about God, so in this example, Jesus used the same practice. He used a principle of human perseverance with a neighbor and emphasized that if perseverance is effective among human neighbors, how much more will it be true of our perseverance when requesting the action of God? If someone keeps asking a neighbor or acquaintance, the person may grant the request just to avoid the embarrassment of not helping or to stop being bothered. If persistence is effective for requests made to humans who are imperfect and selfish, how much more will we receive gracious things from our heavenly Father who longs to give good gifts to his children!

Today's Prayer

Thank you, Lord God Almighty, for your generous grace that comes from your heart of love. In those times when prayer is hard and my frustrations mount, please help me persevere in prayer — especially when nothing seems to be happening, prayer doesn't seem very exciting, and I am discouraged. Give me the courage and conviction to keep praying. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 18:1-8
  • Colossians 4:2
  • Hebrews 5:7


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Illustration of Luke 11:5-8 NLT — "Suppose you went to a friend's house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.