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Luke 11:5-8 meaning...

The parable begins with a scenario familiar to many—a friend arrives unexpectedly at midnight, seeking help. In the cultural context of Jesus' time, hospitality was highly valued, making the arrival of a guest a significant event. The friend in need represents us in our moments of urgency and desperation.

  • Friendship and Boldness:

The unexpected guest approaches his friend with boldness, knocking on the door and making a request. The relationship between the two friends becomes central to the parable. It's not just a casual acquaintance but a close friendship that allows for such audacity.

  • Lack of Response:

However, the friend inside the house initially hesitates to respond. The door is already locked, and disturbing the household at such a late hour seems inconvenient. Yet, the parable unfolds with a twist—the friend's persistence prevails over the initial reluctance.

  • Persistence Rewarded:

Despite the initial refusal, the friend eventually gets up and provides what is needed. The parable underscores the power of persistence in prayer. It's not just about making a request but about tenaciously pursuing that request, trusting in the goodness and responsiveness of the one to whom we pray.

  • Ask, Seek, Knock:

This parable resonates with Jesus' broader teaching on prayer found in Luke 11:9-10, where he encourages his disciples to ask, seek, and knock. The parallelism in these actions emphasizes the multifaceted nature of prayer. It involves asking for what we need, seeking God's will and guidance, and persistently knocking on the door of heaven with confidence in God's goodness.

  • Practical Application:

The parable of the friend at midnight challenges us to reflect on our approach to prayer. Are we persistent in seeking God's presence, guidance, and provision? Do we come to God with boldness, trusting in the depth of our relationship with Him?

  • Key Lessons:

Boldness in Prayer: The parable encourages us to approach God with boldness, knowing that our relationship with Him is one of intimacy and trust.

Persistence: It underscores the importance of persistence in prayer. God may not always respond immediately, but our persistent prayers demonstrate our trust in His timing and wisdom.

Trust in God's Goodness: The friend eventually responds not out of obligation but because of the relationship. Likewise, our persistence in prayer is grounded in the assurance of God's goodness and love.


Luke 18:1-8: The parable of the persistent widow reinforces the theme of persistence in prayer. Jesus uses this story to teach about the necessity of continually seeking God in prayer and not losing heart.

Matthew 7:7-8: In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus echoes the idea of persistence in prayer, encouraging believers to ask, seek, and knock, with the assurance that those who persist will receive, find, and have the door opened to them.

Conclusion: Luke 11:5-8 invites us into the intimacy of a relationship with God where boldness and persistence find their place. As we approach the throne of grace, may we do so with the assurance that our heavenly Friend not only hears our prayers but also responds to the persistent cries of our hearts.

See also: vs 2-4, & 9-10

Luke 11:5-8. He said to them, “Which of you, if you go to a friend at midnight, and tell him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him,’ and he from within will answer and say, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give it to you’? I tell you, although he will not rise and give it to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will get up and give him as many as he needs.”


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