Problems, Prayer, and Provision | Luke 11:5-8


Do you believe that God truly wants us to come to Him in prayer and that He will actually answer? He does, and He will! In this message, John Elmore walks through Jesus’ parable about a friend’s response to a bold request and what it teaches us about God our Father.

John ElmoreJun 4, 2023Luke 11:5-8

In This Series (11)
Pray Through to God’s Breakthrough | Luke 18:1-8
John ElmoreAug 6, 2023
The Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector | Luke 18:9-14
Blake HolmesJul 30, 2023
Don’t Waste Your Life | Matthew 25:14-30
Timothy "TA" AteekJul 23, 2023
The Forgiven Forgive | Matthew 18:21-35
John ElmoreJul 16, 2023
A Warning to Rule Followers | Luke 15:25-32
Timothy "TA" AteekJul 9, 2023
The Forgiving Father and His Two Lost Sons: The Prodigal Son | Luke 15:1-32
John ElmoreJul 2, 2023
Which Soil Are You? | Matthew 13:1-9
Marvin WalkerJun 25, 2023
The Path to Being Built Different | Matthew 7:24-27
Jermaine HarrisonJun 18, 2023
How to Get Into Heaven | Luke 10:25-37
Timothy "TA" AteekJun 11, 2023
Problems, Prayer, and Provision | Luke 11:5-8
John ElmoreJun 4, 2023
Your Best Summer with Jesus | Matthew 13:44-46
Timothy "TA" AteekMay 28, 2023


In the middle of His teaching on prayer in Luke 11:1-13, Jesus told a parable that illustrates when to pray, how to pray, and what God will do if we pray. If we go to God with anything at any time, He will give us what we need because He is our kind and loving Father.

  • When to Pray: Problems (Luke 11:5-7)
    • We can pray about anything that is not as it should be. God cares about all of it, great or small.
    • Prayer is how we live in relationship with God. It is a heart posture that tells God, “I can’t, but you can.”
    • Indifference in prayer is independence from God. It shows we are living as if we are God. When we do that, we are carrying a weight we were never meant to bear.
    • Prayer is a pulse that can reveal life or death. Sin can weaken that pulse.
    • Prayerlessness can be a projection of passivity upon the Father. We assume He isn’t going to do anything, but we need to see Him as our provider.
  • How to Pray: With Bold Humility (Luke 11:8)
    • Bold humility (or, as the NIV renders the Greek: shameless audacity) seems like an odd combination, but it is not a contradiction. It is the only combination that will knock on the door of God.
    • Pride will keep us from going to the only one who can help. Humility helps us see that we have nothing and need God’s help.
    • The opposite of boldness is timidity and fear, but perfect love drives out fear. In Christ, we can address God as Father and wait on Him with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6-7).
    • Even if our problems are self-inflicted or caused by our own sin, we can go to God. He’s the only one who can cleanse us from our sin (1 John 1:9).
  • If You Pray, Provision is Promised. (Luke 11:8)
    • God is going to get up and give you what you need because He is your Father. God’s kids can burst into the room at any time.
    • As we are asking for things, we must remember that we are here for the Kingdom of God, not the kingdom of self.
    • If you do not have Jesus as your Savior, you cannot and will not go to God as your Father… but you can become God’s child when you repent and believe.
    • God’s provision may not be when or how we thought, but He will provide what we need even if it is not necessarily what we want.

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • Who or what do you run to before the Father? Why?
  • Do you believe God hears and will answer your prayers or that He is indifferent? Why?
  • Where have you let pride or fear impact the way you pray? In what ways can you pray with bold humility this week?

Good morning, brothers and sisters in Christ. My name is John Elmore. Welcome to Watermark Community Church. If you're here as a guest exploring the church or the faith, we extend you a special welcome. All are welcome here every Sunday and often throughout the week.

Last week, TA began a new series called Parable in which we're taking a look at the parables Jesus shared throughout the Gospels. As Warren Wiersbe has said, these are pictures that God in flesh has given to us that then become mirrors that reflect back to us our lives in the context of what God is showing and, eventually, windows by which we can see God.

TA kicked off by talking about the kingdom of heaven and how we, upon finding it, give all of ourselves in order that we might receive, through Jesus, all God has for us. Today, we're going to look at prayer. The parable we're going to be talking about will show us a picture, a mirror, and a window of prayer.

Oftentimes, the parables have titles given to them, a handle, like the prodigal son or the good Samaritan. This one really doesn't. There's not one people ascribe to it as a way to describe it, but what I would say, and what we're going to call it for our purposes today, is the friend at midnight, or the midnight friend. It's found in Luke, chapter 11, if you want to turn there.

The parable itself takes place in verses 5-8. It's important, contextually, to see what happens before and then what happens after this parable. Before, the disciples go to him and say, "Lord, teach us to pray," and Jesus begins Luke's account of the Lord's Prayer, beginning with "Father…" Here you have the Son of God speaking and telling the apostles and disciples, "You address God, if you are with me and in me, as 'Father' now."

Then it goes into the parable, the friend who comes at midnight, and then after that, you have a more familiar passage, likely, of "Ask, seek, and knock, and these things will be given to you. If your earthly fathers, who are evil, know how to give good gifts, how much more will the Father give you the Holy Spirit."

Here, even in this passage, it's Trinitarian in nature. You have the Son of God saying to address God as "Father" in prayer and that the Father will send the Holy Spirit. So, let's read now together. I'm going to be reading from the ESV. This is Luke, chapter 11, beginning in verse 5.

"And he [Jesus] said to them, 'Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, "Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him"; and he will answer from within, "Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything?'"

Verse 8 is the hinge, the hinge for both us and for the character of God as he speaks about prayer. "I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence…" The NIV renders this shameless audacity. "…he will rise and give him whatever he needs."

Let's talk about the context here. You have Jesus in the ancient Near East in the context of Middle Eastern hospitality, which is a thing. If you've been to the Middle East, you know this to be true. They take hospitality to anyone…family, friend, even total stranger…as this creed of life. I will never forget. I was in Jerusalem in the Palestinian Muslim quarter, and a Muslim man… I walk into his shop, and he's like, "Welcome! Have a seat" and begins to pour me tea or coffee.

I've not bought anything. I didn't even buy anything from the store. I'm just a guest in his presence, so he has begun to pour out this hospitality. Jesus is saying, "Hey, if you're in need and go to your friend…" He says, "Which of you would say, 'Hey, man, it's late. The door is already locked. I've shut the house down. I'm in bed. Come back another time'?" The answer assumes a negative response. Like, no one. We would never do that. Everybody would get up and answer the door.

Jesus is saying that's the Father. You think none of you would ever turn someone down if they knocked upon your door in their hour of need. You would never turn them away. How much more the Father? That's the picture he has given us. Now it's weird. He says, "Hey, I'm in bed with my kids." At that point in time, it would have been a one-room house with one bed. Everybody would have slept on that mat.

We used to have a phrase when our kids were little: "You wake them, you take them." It's like, there's bad timing, bad circumstances, and you have a bad situation where you have a friend who arrived on a journey and you have nothing to give them. The whole thing is bad, yet the friend is like, "I'm not even going to give this to you because of our friendship. I'm going to give to you what you need because you have the shameless audacity to show up at my door and knock." This is how God responds to us.

So, the three points we're going to see in the parable are when to pray, how to pray, and if you pray. When to pray, I'm going to say, is when you're faced with a problem. How to pray, I'm going to say, is with bold humility, because audacity carries with it a negative context, like, "How dare you have the audacity?" There's negativity there so I'm going to say, "Bold humility." That's how to pray. Then if you pray, provision is promised. When to pray, how to pray, and if you pray. Let's begin.

  1. When to pray. I'm going to say "problems," when you're facing any problem in life. You could say "need." I wrestled with this. "Do I say 'need' or do I say 'problems'?" I chose problems because of this. We talk about, psychologically speaking, Maslow's hierarchy of needs. You need water. You need food. You need clothing. You need shelter…all of these needs.

If you're like, "Well, I need a new job…" Do you really need it? You have a job. You want a new job. Or maybe you don't have the gift of singleness and you desire to be married. Well, it's not a need. You're not going to die if you don't have a spouse, but that's something you are wrestling with. We have all of these things that might fall into the category of problem whereas need feels a little more collapsed. So, I'm going to say when to pray is when you're faced with a problem, that problem would be a pathway to prayer.

Now, it's not the only path to prayer. We know this. You look at the Scriptures, and all throughout you have adoration and worship. There's thanksgiving. There's confession prayer. When we sin, we are to pray for one another and be forgiven and healed. First John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

So, there is confession of sin in prayer. There's also lament where you're crying out to God. You see David doing this over and over. But here in the context of this parable, what is moving the person to prayer is a problem. We have many, many problems in life. I'm not talking about the penultimate example of difficulty but anything that would draw you to God the Father by the Son in prayer.

It says, "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say, 'Lend me three loaves,' and they'll answer from within, 'Don't bother me. The door is shut. I'm in bed with my kids'?" Nobody is going to say that. He knows that. It assumes the negative because of that hospitality. He says, "That's how God is."

Laura and I have had this question, like, "Hey, at this time in your life, who's your middle-of-the-night friend?" You may be getting to know somebody on a business trip or in Community Group. Who's your middle-of-the-night friend? I mean, a pipe bursts, health, accident… You're like, "I can call them at any hour of the night and I'm not going to bother them. They're there for me."

He says God the Father is your midnight friend. You go to him at any time with any need under any circumstance, no matter where you are in your relationship with him. If you are in Christ, you are his child. You go to him. He's your midnight friend. That's what we're to do, but the other thing is this is the character of God. He's going to give you what you need. So, may our problems be the path that leads us to prayer.

Prayer is not a designated time. It's not just our quiet time, that we pray and then go about our business, go about our work, go about being a stay-at-home mom, our homeschooling…we go about all of the things…our school, our engagement, our sports. Rather, prayer becomes how we relate to God, that we're going throughout our day as we walk by the Spirit in relationship with God.

I would say, indifference in prayer is independence from God. If you look at your life and there's an indifference in prayer, it's independence from God. It says in Acts 17, "In him we live and move and have our being." So, if you're looking at your life or an area of your life and are like, "I never pray about that" or "I pray in the morning, but then go about my day and don't pray again until I go back to bed," that shows an independence from God in that area or in that time.

I want you to know I stand up here with a soberness of spirit. I kind of feel like a hypocrite of sorts. Like, who am I? I'm not the one to hold up as the example of "Man, I'm praying all day, every day, and that's just all I do." There are so many times that I'll get to dinner, and I'm like, "All right, kids. Let's pray" or "Who would like to pray and give thanks for the meal?" and the thought occurs to me, "I don't think I've prayed since before that meeting at 3:00 p.m."

My prayerlessness is an indicator of independence from God. I think, also, as we're not taking problems of any kind to God, that means we're carrying them. It says in Philippians 4, "Don't be anxious about anything, but rather take those problems to God." And he says, "The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and mind."

We're carrying weight we were never meant to carry, we're not supposed to carry, we don't have the ability to carry. We're carrying all of these things, and God is like, "Those are mine. Give those to me." So, rather than taking those to God… If there's prayerlessness, that indicates we're actually trying to be like God. If you're not taking them to God, you're trying to be like God.

Like, "God, you can save me from hell, but as far as the here and now, I've got this. I don't need you. I'm not going to go to you in prayer and take this to you or ask for wisdom or any kind of leading or guiding or provision because I'll figure it out." That prayerlessness shows that if we're not taking things to God, it's because we're trying to actually be like God.

I spent two summers overseas when I was in seminary, once in Haiti at an orphanage and the other time with this church in South Sudan. I'll never forget the life lessons the two pastors there taught me. Pastor Henri Gaetjens in Haiti… Every time we would go anywhere…to the pharmacy, to the food clinic, or wherever…

He would get in the car, put the key in the ignition, and before he'd turn it and without even saying, "Let's pray," he'd be like, "Father, we thank you for this day. Thank you for this vehicle. Thank you that there's gas in the tank. We pray that you would carry us safely. If there's anyone we should stop and help along the way, would you lead us to them, and would you give us success in what we need to do today before we return to the orphanage?" Then he'd turn over the car.

Just conversationally, he would move in and out of, "I'm talking to you. I'm talking to God. I'm talking to you. I'm talking to God." It has never left me. Oftentimes, he would just start talking. I'd be looking at him. I'd be like, "Oh! Oh, yes." Like, of course. He just moved through life, and every opportunity and problem he was taking before God.

Then in Sudan, Pastor David Kaya… I'll never forget. I was in the courtyard. We had had dinner. He kind of looked a little off, and I was like, "Kaya, are you okay?" He was like, "I have a headache." I was like, "Oh, I have Advil. Let me go back to my room. I'll get Advil." He goes, "Wait, wait. No. Let's first pray." It was so instructive. I was like, "Oh."

Because I am materially better off than my South Sudanese and Haitian pastors, I am actually spiritually worse off. My possessions and my bank account have actually moved me into a place where I'm operating as if I don't need God, whereas, as James writes, he has caused the poor to be rich in faith because they know the reality all of us have that there is nothing we can do apart from him. John 15:5: "…apart from me you can do nothing." But I live as if I can all the time.

So, prayer actually can show us and be the way out of our problems and lead us to the Father. I think we have diseases here in America we are particularly prone to that Pastor Henri and Pastor Kaya weren't. They're the diseases of entitlement, expectations, and affluenza, that "I deserve more; I should have that," and because I have things, I can work my way out of problems. Those diseases will keep us from prayer, but prayer can cure us from those diseases as we're going and taking everything to God.

Also, prayer is a pulse. Before the age of 30 when I trusted in Jesus, as an alcoholic businessperson down in Austin, Texas, I never prayed. I didn't pray about anything. I was like, "I get the job. I get the money. I get the girl. I get the career path. I get the clients. I'm the one doing all of that." I was totally dead spiritually. Then he saved me out of my alcoholism and sin, gave me a new life through Jesus Christ my Lord, having trusted in him, and all of a sudden it was like you could see a pulse, that there was life in me spiritually, by my prayer.

The prayer was an indicator, like, "Oh, there's life there now," as I realized, "I can do nothing apart from him." He was the one even in my pagan life, dead in sin, who was still allowing me to have food and an income and any kind of anything. He was still giving it to me. God sends rain on the unrighteous and the righteous. But now there was prayer. That pulse can be strong as a believer or it can be weak as a believer. It ebbs and flows in various ways throughout our lives.

Sin can weaken that pulse of prayer. Sometimes we draw away, like our spiritual and fleshly father prior, Adam, who when he sinned withdrew from God. That pulse can start to weaken. Like, "How can I go to you? I've just sinned against you." We hide in our shame. But throughout, because of Jesus, we boldly approach the throne of grace with all of our problems, whether from the world in its fallenness or even that are self-inflicted. For the believer, prayer can show if you're thriving with God or if you're striving as God without prayer.

I'll never forget. I was at Baylor, living at 9th and Bagby in Waco, really close to the campus there. We used to live in these matchbox homes. They all should have been condemned. Many of them have been now. They've been scraped, and people built McMansions, and they're making "McMillions" as Baylor parents are stroking these crazy rent checks. (All the Aggies are like, "That's right," and the Baylor parents are like, "Oh my goodness.")

I'll never forget. We're there at 9th Street. We had this rattly glass door, and somebody is pounding on it in the middle of the night. I lived right by the front door. Before I could even get down out of my bed and open the door, these girls come pouring in, and they're hysterical. They're half-dressed, so we're grabbing blankets, like, "What is going on?"

Then you see past them down 9th Street, and their house is engulfed in flames, burning down. Now, they lived a full block away from us. They had run past five houses and an apartment complex to get to our house, but they knew we would either be up… We never locked our door. They would be able to come in there, get what they needed, and call 911. They could come to us.

I think, as I talk about when we pray, that it's when we face problems… They knew, "We can go there," but I think, rather than going five houses down, we stop at the house of money. We're like, "Well, maybe this can fix my problem." Or we stop at the house of worldly wisdom or we stop at the house of Google and do a search, like, "What should I do?"

Our problems take us to the five houses prior before we ever… We're like, "Okay." Finally, we're at the fifth house of God. Like, "I'm at the end of my rope. I guess it has come to this. Man, I've exhausted every other effort. I guess now I'll pray." God is like, "Come to me first. You skip all of those houses. You come to me first. You face a problem, you come to me in prayer, and I'm going to provide through various ways as you pray."

This past week, I had two very dear friends lose very dear family members to death. I'll be going to a funeral after this service. I have been praying, we have been praying, for the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1) to pour out comfort on these people. Those have been our prayers. But the other thing I prayed for this week… For them I was like, "God, please help them in this death and loss and saying goodbye until they're united again in Christ forevermore, but the pain…"

The other thing I prayed for was this. I use this. I got a dozen of these off of Amazon to lock our back gate. We were going to be out of town. The kids are in and out of the gate all the time, so I just need a carabiner, because I'll never find the key. I'll lose that. But the kids always take the carabiners off, and they never… I don't know what they do with them. They vaporize. They're gone. I was down to my very last one, and we were leaving.

I was like, "I need to lock the gate from the inside." I was like, "Oh, where did they put the carabiner?" It was the night before we were leaving, and I was so frustrated. I was walking away, and I just… I mean, not this holy, pleading, "Our Father who art in heaven…" I was just like, "Lord, will you help me find the carabiner?" as I walked back to the backyard. No joke. I turned back around, and I saw in the light… It hit that silver piece, and I was like, "You even care about carabiners." But it wasn't because he cares about carabiners. He cares about me.

It's crazy that you can pray to God (and you should) for death and loss and hardship and divorce and miscarriage…and for carabiners, the smallest thing. How ridiculous would it be if I was like, "Hey, kids, if you're ever in a dire situation…like, if you're drowning, if you're maybe about to be kidnapped…you call out to me, but if you need a pencil, if you need a waffle, don't bother me." What kind of dad would I be? God cares. He cares about the big and heavy, and he cares about the little and tiny because he cares about you.

So, when to pray? You pray your problems. We should be doing this. In re:generation tomorrow night, a thousand people are going to gather, confess sin, and get prayed for. They're not going to get condemned or shamed. They're going to confess sin and get prayed for that God might heal. On Wednesday night at re|engage, those couples are going to be prayed for, and in every Community Group that anyone is a part of… We share, and then we cover the person in prayer.

After this service, people are going to be able to come forward and be prayed with and for for whatever the problem may be. At 5:00 every Sunday in the Chapel, there's going to be an outpouring of prayer, because in this world you'll face troubles of many kinds. So, when do we pray? We pray with our problems. May they take us to our loving Father.

  1. How to pray. We pray with bold humility. This is where the NIV renders it shameless audacity. Bold humility sounds like a strange combination, right? In this world, there are strange combinations. You have sriracha ranch. You have this really spicy Asian condiment, and then you have the Texas topping that goes with carrots and pizza and spaghetti. Like, ranch on everything. You mash those up, and it sounds horrific…until you taste it. Then you're like, "That's the best thing on this created earth…sriracha ranch."

The manufacturers figured it out. You can now actually have it pre-mixed in the same bottle, because it's just meant to be. It's like salted caramel. You have salty and sweet. You'd think, "Oh!" and then you're like, "Oh." I was with my daughter in a gas station. We walked in, and she was getting whatever she was getting. I was like, "Oh! No, no, no, no!" Because some strange combinations are good. Some should never be.

I saw in the cooler (this was right around Easter time) they had (no joke…it was anathema) Peeps Pepsi. It's a thing. I reached for it, and I was turning over the can, like, "This has to come with a shot of insulin. Like, how could you…?" The amount of sucrose. Peeps-infused Pepsi. I was like, "That's a bad combo." But how to pray and the combination of bold humility is the combo. It is the essential combination by which, only by which, you can go to God in prayer.

Humility is the antithesis of pride. Pride is prayerlessness, like, "I don't need you. I don't want you. I've got this." Humility is like, "I can't do this. I am desperate." But humility also can kind of carry this sheepishness, maybe a meekness, a withdrawing, like, "Oh, they're so humble they would never put themselves forward." Whereas boldness is like, "No, I am here. I am asking you exactly for what I need." The opposite of boldness would be timidity or fearfulness. It says in the Scriptures that perfect love drives out fear.

So, there is this strange combination that seems like it would not go together, and Jesus right here is saying, "No, it must go together. This bold humility, this shameless audacity, is exactly how you approach God." You're like, "Well, who am I?" Psalm 8. "Who is man that you are mindful of me? When I consider the works of your hands and your fingertips and all that you've created, who am I?" You have to approach with bold humility.

Humility like, "I can't; you can," and boldness like, "I am going to take Jesus at his word that when the disciples said, 'Lord, teach us to pray,' the first word you uttered in Luke, chapter 11, was 'Father.'" I think they would have done a double take at that point in time, like, "No, we said teach us to pray. We know that's how you pray. You're the Son of God. You pray to the Father. But we said teach us to pray." He's like, "That's right. If you are in me, you call upon God as your Father with bold humility."

So, the ESV says impudence, which is a word that has fallen out of use. It's a Greek word. It's called a hapax legomenon, which means it is used one time in the entirety of the Scripture, which makes it difficult contextually. Like, "Wait. What does that word mean?" It's anaideia. It's like, "Where else is that used? What is that?" So, you look to Homer. Homer uses it as shame or shameless, so that's the shameless audacity, that you would have the nerve to do something. But here, as a father, you can approach, must approach, with that humility and boldness.

Penny, our 7-year-old daughter, got sick the other night. We're dead asleep in our bedroom, and all of a sudden the door flings open. She's like, "Daddy, I threw up." So I was like, "Laura, you're on. I think she said, 'Mommy.' I could have sworn she said, 'Mommy.'" She was like, "Daddy, I threw up." I was like, "Okay, baby. Okay." The lights are off, and I touch her, and it was warm and slimy. I was like, "Oh! Okay, okay, okay. Come here, come here."

I'm taking her clothes down and getting the water going and getting her all cleaned up. I walk into her room, because I'm like, "Oh man. I hope she made it to the bathroom." I open the door. No joke. It's like a Jackson Pollock. It was on the wall. It was on the wall! Literally, I was like, "Hey, did you do that on purpose? What happened?" She had thrown up and then flung the covers.

I was like, "Oh!" I mean, it's on the wall. It's on the door. It's on the clothes. It's on the girl. We get her all done. I don't think I'll ever forget this. I'm tucking her in bed. By the way, she had thrown up because she had too much sugar. This was thoroughly self-inflicted, so my compassion level… Anyway, different message. The Father's compassion, not me. Perfect Father.

I'm tucking her in bed, and I'm rubbing her head, and she goes, "Daddy, thanks for taking care of me." I'm like, "What else would I do? What am I going to do…tell you to clean yourself up? That's my job. It's my job to take care of you. You're my little girl." I think so often, in our sin, our addiction, our pornography, our pride and control, our worry and fear, we're like, "God, you saved me from hell, but this? I did this."

He's like, "Who else is going to clean you up? I'm the only one who can clean you. I live to clean you. I am not mad at you. I will cleanse you by the blood of Jesus Christ, and there is no other way, no other person, no other means to be clean. You must come to me. You have to bust through my door and say, 'Daddy, I'm sick.' It's the only way."

There's humility there, but then there's also the boldness. This is the audacity part. The humility is like, "Daddy, I threw up. Look at what I did." The boldness… I think about this friend. The context is he's knocking on the door. It's midnight. He has kids…all this stuff. He's like, "I don't know. Where else am I going to go? Who else am I going to ask? I don't have anything to give him. I have a need, you have provision, so I'm knocking on your door. Here I am." Shameless audacity.

We were mudding, again at Baylor, freshman year…idiot. I had an '85 Ford Bronco, and it had 33-inch tires, which doesn't mean anything to women, but guys are like, "Yeah, that's right." I have an inner redneck somewhere there that Dallas has not quelched yet. It's a lifted truck. We're mudding, and we go down into this rock quarry, which I thought would be super fun, like, down at the bottom.

Well, it had been raining (mud), and all the water had gone down into the quarry. So, we're going down, and all of a sudden, the truck just stops. I was like, "That's weird." It wasn't weird. I was spinning my tires. I go to open my door. No joke. The door pushes mud. I had mud all the way up to my floorboard, which means I was not going anywhere at any time. Period.

I have one foot in the mud, one in the truck, like, "What do I do?" "Nothing" was the answer. All of these spotlights all of a sudden light up the quarry. We're looking through the light, and I can see a bunch of silhouettes of men, and one of them is like this. I was like, "I don't think that guy has an itch on his back. I think he's about to draw on us." I was like, "I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry!" because we were trespassing in whatever those great men were making with their rock quarry.

I was like, "I'm so sorry. We're just mudding." They were like, "Are y'all the ones who have been shooting up our trailer?" I was like, "No. We have not been shooting up your trailer. I don't even know what you're talking about." Someone had been out there and had been popping off rounds into their construction trailer. I was like, "We were not shooting your trailer." Then the boldness. I was like, "Is there any way you could pull me out?"

The brother has his hand on a gun. I'm trespassing. They have us in spotlights on their property. Like, take us to jail. And I'm like, "Oh, could you pull my truck out? Could you do me a favor, do me a solid?" I'm sure he was like, You've got to be kidding me! "Okay." You've got to love Texas. There's Middle Eastern hospitality and there's Texas hospitality.

No joke. He was like, "How?" I was like, "I have a tow rope." He was like, "Okay." He backs up his backhoe. He put the gun away. We didn't become buddies. I wish we would have. Maybe he's out there somewhere. Trust in Jesus. Let's be friends. Nonetheless, he pulls the Bronco out. Here's the deal. That was 100 percent self-inflicted. I did that. I had sinned against that person, and he was now helping me.

Jesus says the exact same thing. "I don't care what you've done. There is no other way. You must come to me." Satan is going to lie to you and be like, "Well, how dare you? You know what you did." He'll lead you into sin, and then he'll rub your nose in it and be like, "You'd better not go to God. God is going to be so disappointed. God is not going to help you. You did this."

We did, and he will. He'll be like, "I am the only one who can pull you out. I live to pull you out. Ask me. Just ask me with bold humility. Knock on my door. I will do it. I live to do it. It's why Jesus came, and there is no other way." So, your prayers are an expression of your heart belief, of who you are and who God is. May we go to him in prayer and with thanksgiving.

Right here, Jesus is teaching, "Hey, go to him for everything." Then we get the full context of Scripture, and you look at Philippians, chapter 4, and it says, "…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving…" We do it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2: we're to pray, watch, and give thanks. So, there's this gratitude as we know, "God, you live to do this."

  1. If you pray. If you pray, provision is promised. You see, on the how to pray: with bold humility… The first half of verse 8 (I said that was the hinge verse) is with that shameless audacity, that bold humility, but then the second half of the verse is going to tell us about the character of God. That's how to pray. Now it's if you pray, provision is promised.

It says he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. Now, this is not license for the prosperity gospel. It says need and not want. James writes, as he's talking about sin, and he says, "You receive not because you ask not. And when you do ask, you ask that you might spend it on your own pleasures and desires."

He's like, "Unlike TA's message last week, where it was all about the kingdom of heaven, you're trying to build the kingdom of John. I see what's going on here. I know why you're asking for the money, for the job, for the things. This is kingdom of John, not kingdom of God." It says he will get up and give you whatever you need. May our needs align with the heart and mind of God as we walk with God, and then he's going to meet all of our needs according to the glorious riches of Christ Jesus.

When we were newlyweds, we sometimes would eat dinner in our underwear. (It's not what you think. I drew you offside there. You're like, "Oh, boy! Look at the time. Let's leave early.") We rented this old M Street house. They had painted the windows shut. It had this excuse for an A/C system. It was 88 degrees inside, full A/C. So, we're literally sweating, like, "Oh my gosh! This is crazy," eating hot food. It wasn't because we were so in love with each other (though we were, Laura) but because it was like, "This is unbearable."

So, we're sitting there in our underwear, panting. I mentioned this, and somebody was like, "Hey, you know, David Dzina used to have part in an insulation company." I was like, "Well, it's a rental house and I'm broke." They were like, "No, you should call him." I was like, "Okay. I'll call him." So I called David Dzina. (He's now my boss. He works here at the church.) I was like, "Hey, I don't have a lot. [Blah, blah, blah]." He was like, "What's the address?" I was like, "Oh, that was easy." No joke. The brother pulled up with a truckload of insulation, and we began eating our meals clothed, like people should.

Now, I would guess that that summer in Dallas, many, many people needed insulation, and David probably would have given it to them, but I was the one who asked. Because I asked, I received, which is what Jesus says immediately after this passage. "Ask, seek, and knock. Your fathers who are evil know how to give good gifts. How much more your heavenly Father, and will he not give you the Holy Spirit?" which is the ultimate need. So, we go to him with our needs.

It says in The Magician's Nephew, which is a C.S. Lewis book and part of The Chronicles of Narnia… I read this with my kids, and I can never shake it. I've said it before from this stage, and I'm going to say it as long as I'm on this stage because it is profound. Polly and Digory, these two kids Aslan has sent out into Narnia… They're with this flying horse, as only C.S. Lewis could make cool.

They get to where they're going, and the horse lands and starts eating grass. He's like, "Go on. Let's have lunch." They're like, "We don't eat grass." Digory, the boy, is really perturbed. He's like, "You'd think that Aslan would have prepared lunch for us." The talking horse says this: "'I've no doubt he would,' said the horse. 'But I've a sort of an idea he likes to be asked.'" God will give you what you need. Will we have the faith to ask, the bold humility to go before him and ask?

Here's the thing. In the context also is Jesus… The disciples said, "Lord, teach us to pray." "Give us this day our daily bread." It doesn't say "daily steak." Daily bread. "I'm going to give you what you need. It may not be what you expect. It may not be when you expect. It may not be in the means of how you would expect, but I am going to meet your needs because I'm your Father. Your job is to knock. My job is to provide."

If you pray, provision is promised. God is not man that he should lie. He will provide. Also, it says "daily bread" just before this parable. It doesn't say "annual bread." I think that's a really good thing, because if I asked for annual bread, that would be the last time God would hear from me that year. I would go to him once a year when I had a need. Instead, God has so ordained that he's going to keep his children in daily dependence upon him. May we be.

Do you remember my daughter, probably at 2:00 a.m., who burst into my room? There are very few people who can come into my bedroom unannounced at night, but my children can every time they have a need. They know. They don't knock. They just waltz right in because they know I'm their father.

There are some here today… You're not going to God as your Father because you don't know Jesus as your Savior. In fact, Jesus said, "I'm the way, the truth, and the life, and no one goes to the Father except through the Son." So, you must have Jesus as your Savior, believing that he lived a sinless life, died on the cross for your sins, and raised from the dead.

If you have Jesus as your Savior, then you have God as your Father. Today, that could be the greatest gift you receive, having placed your faith in Jesus, been adopted by the Father, and then as this parable, the verses after, conclude, you'll receive the Holy Spirit. He will come and dwell in you forevermore.

You're going to see on the screen, as we go now to a time of prayer, the three points, because I think they're going to be instructive for us as we pray. When we pray is when we face problems; how we pray is with bold humility, as a child now of your heavenly Father; and if you pray, provision, though it may not come as or if or when or how you would expect, is promised. So, we're going to give you now a time to pray and apply this very thing, and then we'll come back together and pray more through song. Let's pray now.


Lord, thousands of prayers have just been prayed by thousands of people, and that's just this church, let alone your church worldwide. From cancer to carabiners, thank you for how you care for us, as a loving Father, for all of those who have trusted in the Son and thus received the Spirit. Now, Lord, may we continue in this prayer as we sing in prayer to you, for you alone are worthy of all praise. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.