Monday, July 1, 2019

God of the Midnight Emergencies?

“For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Luke 11:10

A woman who lived in a remote area of Wales made a big request: She asked the electric company to connect her home to the grid. It required a lot of hard work and a whole lot of money, but she finally convinced them to run power to her house. However, a few months after her power was turned on, the utility company noticed that she had barely used any electricity. They thought there must be something wrong with the hookup, so they sent a meter reader out to investigate. The serviceman came to the door and said to the woman, “We’ve just checked your meter and it doesn’t seem that you’re using much electricity. Is there a problem?” She answered, “Oh no. We’re quite satisfied. We turn the electric lights on every night so we can see to light our gas lamps, and then we switch them off again.”

What an odd thing to do! This woman missed out on many modern conveniences that could have been a big blessing to her and to her family. She had cheap, convenient light at her fingertips, but she only tapped into the power source for a few seconds every day. The same could be said about many Christians when it comes to prayer.

Every Christian believes in prayer. We’ve heard plenty of stories about answered prayer. But we use prayer’s power so sparingly. Perhaps some of us don’t pray very much because we believe God’s going to pretty much do what He’s going to do with or without our prayers. Others of us may not pray much because we view prayer as a last resort—a “Hail Mary” pass—when all else fails.  Still others of us don’t pray very much because we’re too busy or too lazy. We can come up with plenty of reasons for not flipping the prayer switch and tapping into God’s power grid, but none of the reasons are very good.

In Luke 11, Jesus tells his followers a parable to illustrate the importance of prayer. He tells about a man who has an unexpected midnight visitor—a friend who arrives tired and hungry from a long journey. The man has no food to offer his visitor, so he knocks on his neighbor’s door and asks for three loaves of bread. But the neighbor responds: “Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything” (v. 7).  However, in the end, Jesus says, “Though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs” (v. 8).

Now, some readers of this parable might assume that since the man who pounds on his friend’s door represents you and me, the sleeping friend must represent God.  But Jesus makes it clear that God is nothing like the sleeping, reluctant friend. You see, unlike the sleeping friend, our heavenly Father is not a reluctant giver. The reluctant friend feels inconvenienced by his friend’s request. But God never feels inconvenienced by His sons’ and daughters’ requests. The reluctant friend basically says to his friend at the door, “You screwed up by being unprepared for your friend’s midnight visit. It’s not MY problem!”  But God delights in sharing our problems, even when it’s our fault. Finally, the reluctant friend eventually does the right thing for selfish reasons—he wants to get back to sleep. But God does the right thing because He loves us.

Jesus simply says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (vs. 9-10). I’d like you to ask yourself: Do these verses work both ways in my relationship with God? In all honesty, most of us would answer, “No.”  God ASKS us to speak for Him and do certain things for Him, but so often we don’t do it.  God SEEKS followers who will stand in the gap between our godless culture and the gates of Heaven and lead others back to Christ. God seeks followers like these, but quite often He doesn’t find them.  God KNOCKS on our hearts’ doors, asking us to let Him come in and spend quality time with us, but like the church in Laodicea (Revelation 3:20), so often we refuse to answer the door.

God comes our way asking, seeking and knocking, and so often—just like the sleeping friend—we turn Him away.  But thankfully, God is not like us. If we go to our Father and ask, we will receive. If we go to our Father and seek, we will find. And if we go our Father and knock, the door will be opened.

Friends, God is NOT a reluctant Giver. He is a loving, gracious, generous Giver. He delights in hearing and answering our prayers. He delights in meeting our needs when we bring our needs to Him. Don’t just go to God for the midnight emergencies. Go to your Father in Heaven every day, throughout the day with your needs and your requests. He will hear you and He will answer you. Now, will you do the same for Him?

Dane Davis is the Lead Pastor of First Christian Church in Victorville and the author of "Holy Huldah: Lessons You Should Never Forget from Bible Characters You've Never Heard Of." For more information, visit, and join us for our Worship Celebration Sundays at 10 a.m.

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