Give God No Rest

Lou Lotz

Read: Luke 11:5-12

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (v. 9)

“Friend, lend me three loaves . . .” From within the house an irritated voice calls out, “Go away!” But the neighbor won’t go away. This guy is maddeningly persistent. His horsefly annoyance finally wears down the sleeper, who gets up and gives him some bread. It’s a funny story Jesus tells on the road to Jerusalem.

But it is also a painful story, because it flies in the face of our common human experience. Granted, sometimes our prayers are answered in wonderful ways. But sometimes we ask, seek, and knock to no avail. The sick person we pray for does not get well. The sick marriage we pray for dissolves in divorce. What Jesus says here about prayer seems to contradict our own experience.

I will concede that there does come a time when God makes it clear that our prayer requests will not, cannot, be fulfilled. But until God makes that clear, I will keep praying. I will keep asking, seeking, knocking. “You who put the LORD in remembrance—give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem,” said Isaiah (62:6-7). What a thing to say: give God no rest! But that is what I propose to do. If a grouchy sleepyhead will answer a midnight knock just to get some peace and quiet, how much more readily will God open the door to his children and supply their more desperate needs?—Lou Lotz

Prayer: Lord, I stand at the door and knock.