Well…I don’t really know how to write about this.
I’ve tried coming up with examples, clever stories to illustrate this truth, and a few other things. I’ve got nothing. So, forgive me for my directness.
Our world is ready for revival. Hear me on this – I am not speaking out of defeat or fear…I am more hopeful than ever in the triumphant Gospel of Jesus. He never loses.
In Luke’s gospel (chapter 11), Jesus tells his disciples a story of a friend petitioning his neighbor for three loaves of bread. Initially, the neighbor refuses to give bread to his neighbor. However, rather than return to his home defeated and embarrassed, Jesus says, “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.” (Luke 11:8).
This word “persitence” in the Greek is actually rendered “shameless.” So, read this again…”yet, because of his shamelessness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.”
Have you ever sat behind a shameless fan at a sporting game? It can get crazy, right? The screaming, foam-finger-waving, in-your-face-taunts-and-cheers…whew. We would call that person shameless. They have absolutely no care for what others are thinking about them…their heart is set on one thing – supporting their team.
When speaking of prayer, Jesus tells us to shamelessly petition heaven with the prayers of heaven. Remember, the friend is asking for bread not to feed himself but to have something to give to a traveler who has come in from out of town. His concern for his traveling friend has moved him to shamelessly petition his neighbor for bread. In essence, the good of his neighbor has become his #1 priority. Nothing will stop him from providing for his friend.
And that is our story as well. Our world is our neighbor. They are tired, thirsty, and hungry for the bread of heaven that gives life (John 6). This is our opportunity. Together, we can shamelessly petition heaven for the bread of heaven, Jesus Himself. He is nourishment for every soul, the spring of water that never runs dry. He is the fulfillment of our deepest soul-pangs – and He is available to every weary traveler.
Will we shamelessly petition heaven for the sake of our world? Will we be filled to overflowing with the life-giving truth of the Gospel? Ask and receive – freely give what you have been freely given!
May the glory of Jesus fill our hearts as we give ourselves to this most worthy cause!
Jesus to the world!