Then, teaching them more about prayer, He 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.”
In Luke 11:5-8, Jesus tells this parable about persistent prayer—the keep-on-asking, seeking, knocking kind of prayer that must continue until it is answered. The message on persistent prayer is clear, but on another level, we can hear a teaching about praying for the lost. The man in the parable is asking for bread – three loaves of bread.
The Bible refers to Jesus as the Bread of Life. Could this then be an illustration of one’s praying for someone’s salvation? We see also that there is only one friend who is visiting, yet the man is asking for three loaves.
The Bread of Life
Jesus is the Bread of Life but He is also part of the Triune God. Upon receiving salvation, we are indwelt by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Could the man have been asking for all three for his friend? The request comes at a late hour. How many of us know people who have been saved late in life or even on their death bed?
Our prayers for the salvation of others should never stop until we see them answered or until the person goes home to be with the Lord. Until that final breath is taken, salvation is still possible and, for this reason, we must keep on praying.
One further note: The parable seems to imply it was an irritation to the one who was already in bed with his family. He didn’t want to get up, but the shameless persistence of the man’s asking propelled him out of bed with loaves in hand. This is a contrast to how our Father responds to our requests to save. It is His will that none should perish but all come to repentance.
We simply must keep on asking, seeking and knocking until He answers. He is showing here that if someone who is irritated will fulfill the request, how much more will our loving God if we don’t give up after a few knocks!