Our doorbell doesn’t work.
I’ve had numerous people tell me they came to the front door and knocked, only to leave after a minute or two because they assumed we weren’t home. Truth is, I just didn’t hear them. What with the four kids and three dozen battery operated toys and all. Also, SESAME STREET. On repeat.
(Dear Shady Guy in the unmarked van selling “bulk frozen meats”. I hear you. Every. Single. Time. Move on, man. We buy our meat at the bonafide grocery store. And we fear salmonella.)
Jesus recently taught me something about prayer that involves knocking. It’s found in the book of Luke (shocker, right?) near the beginning of chapter 11. Jesus is training his followers to pray. After he gives them a model prayer, he goes on to tell them a story. Here is the Beth version:
Suppose you receive company unexpectedly one night. You dash over to a friend’s house because you know she has some frozen casseroles to spare and you need something to feed these people, pronto. You knock on the door. After hearing some shuffling, the friend who is your ticket to feeding the guests cracks the door a bit and essentially says “Can’t this wait. We’re all in bed. Goodnight.”
Then Jesus says to the disciples, “I tell you this – though he (she) won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.” Luke 11:8
Sometimes our prayers are a light, polite, tapping. But, dear friends, some circumstances call for an incessant pounding.
We’ve had The New Chick in our nest for 21 months. Every day of those 21 months we’ve been praying. Last night we found out that there will be court hearing on February 25 that could determine whether he stays or goes.
There will be times in the days ahead that I will likely process all sorts of emotions over this. But not today. Today marked the beginning of a new intensity to my prayer life. Let there be shameless persistence. Let there be an incessant pounding. May the halls of the heavenlies echo with the sound of it. When the fear is creeping and the doom is threatening, watch out knuckles because THIS MAMA KNOWS HOW TO KNOCK .
Not in anger. Not because I think I’m the one with the power to blow the door down. But because Jesus told me this is how I should pray. And because I love this child with every breath in my being. And what I ask of the Father, I ask on his behalf.
And because this is what my King says in the very next verses:
“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
I pray you are shamelessly persistent to plead with the Father on behalf of the others in your life. Pray that I am, too.
PS – 34 minutes.