Persistent Prayer

Lou Lotz

READ : Luke 11:5-13

“Ask, and it will be given you.” (v. 9)

People think of prayer as quarters in a slot machine: if they don’t hit the jackpot after a few tries, they get discouraged and give up. They stop trying.

But the message of this parable on prayer couldn’t be more obvious if Jesus wrote it in the sky: Pray like the midnight bread-borrower. Be persistent. Don’t take no for an answer. Keep banging on the door until you get what you came for. Not many of us pray that way.

I will concede that there does come a time when God makes it clear that some cherished desire we pray for, some deep need, is not going to be fulfilled. A sick family member is not going to get well. The person you love is not going to love you back. The marriage you pray for dissolves in divorce. Sometimes God makes it clear that our prayer requests will not, cannot, be fulfilled.

But until God makes that clear, I will keep praying. If a grouchy sleepyhead will answer a midnight knock just to get some peace and quiet, how much more readily will a loving God open the door to his own children and supply their deeper needs. “Come,” said St. Theresa to her friends, “let us storm the heavens with our prayers!”


Lord, I stand at the door and knock.