I’ve been reading the NIV 2011, which is the latest revision to the NIV, and I’ve really liked it so far. You can find it online at biblegateway or youversion. Printed versions will be released later this year.
Today I was reading in Luke 11 and came across a phrase I hadn’t seen in the Bible before. See if you can pick it out:
Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘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.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
That phrase shameless audacity really caught my eye. Jesus is telling his disciples how to pray, and after teaching them the Lord’s Prayer, he tells them this little parable. After telling them what to pray, he tells them how to pray: with shameless audacity.
Is that how you pray to God? Are you banging on his door in the middle of the night? Are you trying to wake up God with your prayers? Notice why the guy goes to his friend’s house: Not because there is some life-threatening emergency, but because he needs some bread so that he can be a good host to his friend.
God’s not necessarily going to answer your prayers because he loves you (which he does); he’s going to answer your prayers because you’re banging on his door at midnight. Don’t be afraid to pray BIG. Don’t be cautious in your requests to God. Knock down his door if you have to. Be shamelessly audacious in how you pray.
You don’t have to preemptively edit your prayers. You don’t have to apologize for praying for God to move in big ways. Let him determine how he’s going to answer you. You ought to go ahead and ask for everything in the kitchen because you love this person who showed up at your door at midnight so much. Let God decide how much he’s going to bring out to you. Don’t be ashamed of your audacious prayers.
And, oh by the way, don’t forget to be humble and thankful when God graciously answers the door.