We had a great Connection Group last night. We are currently doing a study on the life of Jesus through the book of Luke in the New Testament. We are also using a study guide by Max Lucado to help us along.
Anyway…Chapter 11 basically starts with “The Lord’s Prayer” that most of us have either memorized or have at least heard at some point in our lives. You know, ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come…” You get the point. But immediately following this Lord’s Prayer, Jesus tells another story about prayer illustrated my 3 friends. One friend comes to another from out of town, at night, and needs a place to stay and something to eat. The second friend receives him into his house, but doesn’t have anything for him to eat, so he goes to friend #3’s house, knocks at the door and requests bread. Friend #3 eventually rises from bed and provides friend #2 with bread to give to friend #1. It is a picture of prayer. In this story, I am generally friend #2. I have many friend #1’s, and they come to me with a need (shelter and food in the story. In real life the needs are healed marriages, recovery from addiction, friendship, counsel, hope, healing, salvation, new life, etc.) Friend #3 is God. As friend #2, when friend #1 comes with a need, sometimes I have something to offer (shelter). But I have no bread. There is only so much I can do for them. I wish I had the answer, the solution, the healing, the hope. But I don’t. I want so badly to help them, but I’m empty. But b/c I want to help them, I go to friend #3, God, and ask for help. He has the answer. He has the hope. He has the life. He has the bread. He is the bread of life.
I may not be making much sense here, but this story is really getting to me. I know SO many people with GREAT BIG NEEDS. And I want to be a good friend, a good pastor. I so want to help them. I so want to make it right for them. But I’m limited. I don’t have any “bread.” But I know who does. God does. So I can pray. I can knock on the door of God and boldly and persistently ask Him for His aid. If I truly care about these friends, I will offer what I have, and I will go to God with all I am and plead with Him on their behalf.
Do you have friends like that? Are you a friend like that? Honestly, our world, our community, is filled with people who are hurting and hopeless and in need of help. Will we plead for them? Let’s go together before God and plead for our friends. He has the bread. He’ll give it to us to give to them.