“then he said to them, ‘suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, “friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and i have nothing to set before him.”
‘then the one inside answers, “don’t bother me. the door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. i can’t get up and give you anything.”
i tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.’“
– luke 11:5-8
it was surreal. there i was, doing my usher thing at the foyer, when siang chin suddenly asked, “hey are you in enli?”
that one question led to a whole lot of other questions that made me realise how deficient i was in my prayer life.
ever since i had that long chat with a good friend over skype and she brought up that verse above (“check out luke 11…actually God doesn’t answer prayers”), i’ve found myself coming back to it over and over again the last week or so. i was just trying to understand why Jesus would tell a story about a man who did not fulfill his friend’s need but would only listen when the man kept pushing for a reply. isn’t that being insolent? if i were to keep praying and forcing things on God, wishing for my will instead of His…isn’t that a display of a non-submissive spirit?
but she said, “just keep praying. be like a little child who keeps bugging her father for something she wants really badly. if it’s something that will not hurt her, he will relent if she keeps asking and bugging him. pray for one family member a day. just keep praying.“
and it dawned upon me that the point is not the insolence of insisting on my family’s salvation. the point is…God does not go back on His promises. it depends largely on our faith in asking, our persistence in praying, our belief in who He is. if He has said that my family and i will be saved when i believe in Jesus, then He means exactly that. the point of me praying and asking and bugging is to show the true nature of God so that He will be glorified through it all.
i have to be honest. i haven’t been praying for this. this needs so much discipline that i fear i fall short of the expectations, the requirements. but when a direct word comes straight from a person’s mouth in a seemingly random occasion, i can’t possibly ignore and not obey.
i really felt like an angel was speaking right to me through her.
the issue about my family’s salvation has been weighing on my mind since i found out my cousin got baptised not too long ago. plus after ps ben asked for people believing for their families to come to know Christ, pris told me her thoughts jumped straight to me. it’s an encouragement, to buck up and have faith and hope that it will come to pass very soon. (wait, did i just type “very soon“? i didn’t mean to. really!)
she also spoke about her experience in mmu, in a stressed-out study environment not unlike imu. how it was like to reach out to friends who would rather stay home with their textbooks while she came faithfully to church. how God’s grace sustained her enough to graduate with her batchmates eventhough she found herself barely getting by each exam.
everything she said was so relevant, clear, direct…so much so that i could hardly believe what i was hearing. during the conversation, i was struck by the awesomeness of the entire thing and prayed that it will stay with me, that i will not be quick to forget.
“so i say to you: ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. for everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.“
– luke 11:9-10