Persistent Friend

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The Persistent Friend – Luke 11:5-13 – Inductive Bible Study

Luke 11:5-13

5 Then He said to them, ” Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves;  6 for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him‘;  7 and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bedI cannot get up and give you anything.’  8 “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs

9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to youseek, and you will findknock, and it will be opened to you.  10 “For everyone whoasksreceives; and he who seeksfinds; and to him whoknocksit will be opened.  11 “Now suppose one of you fathersis asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?  12 “Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?  13 ” If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your  heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

  1. What title do you give to this parable?

Persistent prayer pays

God gives good gifts

Ask for what you want

God’s answers are always best

Midnight disturbance

How close a friend?

  1. What other parables have similar characteristics or theme?

The unforgiving servant – prayer is answered

The growing seed – God works in ways that we don’t see

The lost son – The father is very gracious and generous to the son

The rich man and Lazarus – To late for the rich man’s prayer to be answered

The persistent widow – She was granted her request because of her persistence; God uses a negative to teach a positive

The Pharisee and the tax collector – God answered the tax collector’s prayer

The unjust steward – God uses a negative example to teach a positive truth

  1. Who was Jesus speaking to when He gave this parable?

Luke 11:1

It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.”

Jesus was teaching His disciples.

  1. What was the context for this parable?

Luke 11:1

It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.”

The disciples, after observing Jesus praying, asked Jesus to teach them to pray. First, He gave them the model prayer. Then He taught them about persistence in prayer using this parable.

  1. What are the main elements of the parable and what does each represent?
    1. one of you – a praying believer
    2. friend – God
    3. goes to him – prays
    4. at midnight – worst time for man, but all times are good for God
    5. lend me three loaves – a frivolous request that could easily wait till morning; but God cares about all of our requests, no matter how small
    6. friend of mine – a buddy, but likely not a special guest
    7. come to me from a journey – unprepared though he probably had ample notice
    8. I have nothing to set before him – eating could certainly wait till morning
    9. from inside he answers – God is intimate with no barriers to His children
    10. Do not bother me – God always desires our petitions
    11. door has already been shut – God’s door is always open to His children
    12. my children and I are in bed – never an inconvenient time for our Lord
    13. I cannot get up – God is never reluctant to help
    14. give you anything – God supplies all our needs
    15. because of his persistence – Bold, shameless prayer
    16. he will get up – answer to prayer
    17. ask – pray
    18. it will be given to you – God answers
    19. seek – pray
    20. you will find – God answers
    21. knock – pray
    22. it will be opened to you – God answers
    23. everyone who – believers
    24. asks – pray
    25. receives – God answers
    26. he who – believers
    27. seeks – pray
    28. finds – God answers
    29. him who – believers
    30. knocks – pray
    31. it will be opened – God answers
    32. you fathers – God
    33. is asked – pray
    34. by his son – believer
    35. fish – specific petition
    36. snake – answer to prayer
    37. egg – specific petition
    38. scorpion – answer to prayer
  1. What spiritual principle(s) does this parable teach?
    1. God wants me to persevere in prayer.
    2. Persevering prayer demonstrates my faith in the Lord.
    3. Men will give us what we want so that we will stop annoying them. How much more will our loving Father give us our requests if we persevere in prayer to.
    4. We should approach God boldly and shamelessly in prayer.
    5. Human friends are limited by time, ability, resources, etc. in what they are able to do for us.
    6. Human friends will sometimes fail us.
    7. God is our closest friend and will never fail us.
    8. Earthly fathers give good things in response to their children’s requests, how much better will God’s answers be to His children.
    9. Answers to prayer are always good.
    10. God is always available, always attentive, and always answers His children’s prayers.
  1. Cross references to this parable?

Luke 3:21

21 Jesus Is Baptized

Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened,

Luke 5:16

16 But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.

Luke 6:12

12 It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.

Luke 9:18

18 And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?”

Luke 9:28

28 Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.

Luke 11:1-4

It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” 2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say:

‘ Father, hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come. 

3’Give us each day our daily bread. 

4’And forgive us our sins,

For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.

And lead us not into temptation.'” 

Matt 6:9-13

9 “Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name. 

10′ Your kingdom come.

 Your will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven. 

11′ Give us this day our daily bread. 

12’And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 

13’And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.[For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

Eph 3:20

20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

Jer 33:2-3

3′ Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

Matt 7:11

11 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

John 15:16

16 ” You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

Rev 5:8

8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Gal 4:6

6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ” Abba! Father!

Rom 8:26

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;

James 5:16

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Prov 15:8

8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,

But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

1 John 5:15

14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His willHe hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

Luke 22:42

42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

Gen 18:23-32

23 Abraham came near and said, ” Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 “Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 “Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” 26 So the LORD said, ” If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.” 27 And Abraham replied, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but  dust and ashes. 28 “Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the whole city because of five?” And He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 He spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose forty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it on account of the forty.” 30 Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31 And he said, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the twenty.” 32 Then he said, ” Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.”

Gen 24:12-15

12 He said, ” O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham. 13 “Behold, I am standing by the spring, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; 14 now may it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’ — may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness to my master.”

15 Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor, came out with her jar on her shoulder.

Dan 9:20-23

Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, 21 while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to mein my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. 22 He gave me instruction and talked with me and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding. 23 “At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision.

Acts 10:1-2

1 Now there was a man at Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian cohort, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually.

  1. Questions or problems with the interpretation of this parable.
    1. What is the balance between being bold and being presumptuous in prayer?
    2. What are some things that we should not ask for in prayer?
    3. Why did Jesus set this parable at such an inconvenient time as midnight rather than at midday?
    4. List the similarities and contrasts between the friend inside the locked house and God.
    5. What relationship do you see between “asking”, “seeking”, and “knocking”?
    6. Answers to prayer can be placed in three categories

                                                              i.      Yes

                                                            ii.      No

                                                          iii.      Wait

Discuss these three types of answers to prayer and what they mean.

    1. Why is the Holy Spirit singled out as an answer to God’s prayer?

                                                              i.      The Holy Spirit is the gift we need the most

                                                            ii.      The Holy Spirit is the gift God most desires to give us.

    1. What do you think about praying and asking God for the Holy Spirit?
    2. When God gives us the Holy Spirit, what other gifts is God also giving us?

                                                              i.      His teaching

                                                            ii.      His guidance

                                                          iii.      Eternal life

                                                          iv.      Spiritual gifts

                                                            v.      His power

  1. Based on this parable, what changes in my life does Jesus want me to make?

Update my prayer list and expand my prayer time daily.

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