‘Then Jesus said to them, ‘suppose you have a friend’…’ (Luke 11:5-13)
Of all the parables found in the Gospel narratives this is one of those which is often most misunderstood or misinterpreted. The real lesson in this parable is not simply the question of persistence in terms of our prayer life, although it does not excuse us from intensity in prayer. However, it is not about ‘wearing God down’ until He gives in to our prayer requests. Indeed it is not about comparisons of any kind, rather it is about contrasts.
If a friend can be coerced into giving in to the requests of another friend through his continued persistence, how much more will God, who is loving and compassionate, supply our needs. We are not ‘twisting God’s arm’ to answer our prayers, He will lovingly and willingly do so. However, there is one thing we need to remember. If God does not answer our prayers as we anticipate or expect Him to, it is not He hasn’t heard or grudgingly refuses to answer, but rather because He has something better for us. There is no such thing as unanswered prayer!