Author:Dr Yvonne Huggins Mclean
LUKE 11:1, 5-9 Once when JESUS had been praying, one of HIS disciples came to HIM as HE finished and said, “LORD, teach us a prayer to recite just as John taught one of his disciples.” …Then, teaching them more about prayer, HE used this illustration: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You would shout up to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit and I’ve nothing to give him to eat.’ He would call down from his bedroom, ‘Please don’t ask me to get up. The door is locked for the night and we are all in bed. I just can’t help you this time.’ But I’ll tell you this---though he won’t do it as a friend, if you keep knocking long enough he will get up and give you everything you want—just because of your persistence. And so it is with prayer----keep on asking and you will keep on getting; keep on looking and you will keep on finding; knock and the door will be opened. [Living Bible translation]
Summary: Luke 11 contains JESUS’ teachings on the importance of persistent prayer. JESUS taught by giving a parable---an illustration---a story. It was an important lesson that HE wanted HIS disciples to understand.
JESUS wanted to make it plain for everyone. WHY? Because as one contemporary writer puts it, “The last thing I think of when I’m stressed out with work deadlines and complicated homework projects with the kids is to get on my knees…” See, “Spirituality and Prayer Relieves Stress,” by Therese Borchard.
Others might even add, “And, after I have already prayed, the last thing I think of when I’m stressed out with work, bills, family issues, health issues, and “everything else” is to get right back on my knees and pray again!” But that is exactly what JESUS taught! Pray, Pray, Pray and Pray again! Keep asking. Keep knocking. Be persistent. Keep knocking at GOD’s “door.” Expect an answer!
Matthew Henry’s commentary on this scripture suggest we consider other aspects of this story:
We must come to GOD with boldness and confidence for what we need. The man came begging for what he needed, knowing that he was at the right place, before someone who cared enough to listen and who loved him enough to help.
We must come for bread, or what is needful, and that which we cannot be without. This is not the persistent request of a child just persistently begging for “another toy” or something wanted (i.e., a creature comfort). This request was for something needed.
We must come to GOD by prayer for others as well as for ourselves. This man did not come asking for bread for himself but for his friend.
We cannot come to GOD with a more pleasing errand than when we come for HIS GRACE to enable us to do good. This man wanted to feed someone else, to entertain and edify someone else.
When Providence puts us in situations we cannot control, we can take those situations to GOD with more boldness. The man was not in dire straits because of his own carelessness or folly. The man needed bread because his friend came unexpectedly.
See, https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/luke/11.html. Other scripture on prayer invites us to take everything to GOD in prayer. Philippians 4:6 states:
Don’t worry about anything: instead pray about everything: tell GOD your needs and don’t forget to thank HIM for HIS answers. [Revised Standard translation]
As Philippians 4:6 states expect GOD to answer (even before GOD answers, give thanks!), so be persistent.
EXERCISE, THE LAST THING YOU MAY THINK OF Often when people are fatigued, feeling sapped and low in energy, the last thing they may think of or want to do is exercise. But research shows, that exercise may be exactly the thing that would help.
In “Why Exercise Boosts Mood and Energy,” Diane Rodriguez, notes a number of reasons how exercise boosts overall well-being.
Exercise Increases Endorphin Levels – Endorphins are our body’s natural hormones. They are released when we are doing something that requires a burst of energy. Exercise increases endorphins and can contribute to the euphoria that is often described as a “runner’s high.”
Exercise Boosts Cardiovascular Health – Cardiovascular health allows for greater endurance during the day. It helps reduce the feeling of being tired when work is done. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intense aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week.
Exercise Improves Sleep – Exercise allows you to get a better night’s sleep. High-quality sleep helps to a person feel more refreshed during the day.
Exercise May Create Sharper Focus – Because endorphin levels boost our body’s physical energy, often people feel more mentally focused too. Exercise studies have been linked to improved cognitive function, including concentration, attention, and short-term memory tasks.
See, https://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/workouts/boost-your-energy-level-with-exercise.aspx. If you have a medical condition or need additional guidance about exercise, be sure to consult your personal physician.
If you can engage in moderate-intense aerobic exercise, sometimes simple stretching exercises can help. Some simple yoga beginner poses include the following:
Sit cross-legged on a mat with your hands on your knees, palms up.
Keep your spine as straight as you can sitting upward.
Push the bones you are sitting on down into the floor.
Close your eyes and inhale deeply.
Get on a mat on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders.
Your knees should be directly under your hips.
Your hands should be spread wide and your weight distributed equally between your hands.
Your back should be even across like a table top.
Inhale and round your back, arching up like a cat, while you lower your chin into your chest. Feel the stretch from your neck to your tailbone.
As you exhale, lower your back down all the way into a scoop shape has you lift your head and tilt your head back.
Repeat the cat-cow movement, awakening the spine, neck, chest and shoulders.
From Cat-Cow, lower your knees to the floor and lower your butt to your heels
Lower your shoulders and head to the floor and place your hand directly in front of you, palms down.
Breathe and relax as you stretch out your hands in front.
Keeping your head face down toward the mat, move both hands to the right, then return to center, continue to breathe in and out.
Keeping your head face down toward the mat, now move both hands to the left and then return to center, continuing to breathe in and out.
Please don’t give up on exercise just because you may have limitations. BE PERSISTENT Like prayer and exercise, sometimes we need to be persistent. We have to remember WHO GOD IS---our HEAVENLY PARENT and WHAT GOD DOES---the impossible, the unimaginable, the incredible, and remember that HE love us. So, today, pray. If you can, exercise. Then pray some more. Like JESUS, pray often and about everything and for everyone. Pray, continue to pray and BE BLESSED!