Impudent Prayer

In my last post, I wrote about a routine of starting the day our right with bible reading and prayer, particularly regarding spiritual warfare. Today, I’m going to share a little bit on what the bible refers to as “impudent” prayer. This was from listening to John MacArthur’s recent sermon series “Don’t Be Afraid To Ask.”

As you know, I’m on a long journey dealing with indwelling sin. There are many pieces to this puzzle, most of which I am familiar with. If you are a puzzle person, you have likely put the same puzzle together many times. When you do, you start to recognize pieces. The more you recognize, the easier the puzzle becomes. The same is true in matters of faith.

Freedom from indwelling sin is a very difficult puzzle. This shouldn’t surprise me. However, I am confident that it will one day soon be done. Why? Because Jesus will complete the good work he began in me. (Philippians 1:6)

Now it’s a matter of pouring over my bible verses and waiting patiently for God to do what God is going to do. One of the pieces I’m looking at now is impudent prayer. This comes from Jesus teaching about the midnight neighbor in Luke 11:5-13. Remember this one? It was about a guy banging on the door of his neighbor asking for food to feed an unexpected guest. Jesus said, “I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.

This is simply amazing!

Theological Lesson

Here’s the lesson. Jesus instructs us to be like this man – with impudent prayer (insolent, bold, brash, impolite). He tells us to ask, seek, and knock, and whoever does so will get what he asks. We see this same type of teaching in John 15 & 16. However, here it is with the word impudent. There is a similarity with Jesus’ story of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-5.

This is tough for me to get my head around, but I think I must. Yet, if we look at the story, we find there is a real need for the man to be asking at midnight like he does. It stands to reason that we should be using this type of prayer when we really need it. Does this fit for my situation? I think it does. Here is my reasoning.

  • I am to be holy, as God is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). My sin is a serious problem that must be dealt with. Delaying will only cause more and more problems.
  • The Holy Spirit is the one who sets me free from sin (Romans 8:2). Through him, I receive the fruits of the Spirit, particularly self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
  • I cannot do this on my own. Jesus is clear about that (John 15:5). The Holy Spirit is a gift from God (Romans 5); I can’t work to obtain it (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  • Fruit, much fruit, is proof that I am God’s child (John 15:7-8).
  • God’s reputation is at stake. Does not my credibility as God’s witness lose value the longer my besetting sin plagues me? Moses challenged God on this, “… then the nations who have heard your fame will say, ‘It is because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to give them that he has killed them in the wilderness.'” (Numbers 14:15-16).

Will I be Impudent?

I see the need, but I admit that I am hesitant to pray like that. Why? Pride. Think about it. In Jesus’ lesson, the man woke his neighbor up in the middle of the night. I’m sure he didn’t want to do that. Do you suppose that was easy for him? Hardly! I’m sure they had pride like we do. I don’t need anything from anyone. I will do it all on my own! Does that ring a bell? Yes, he had to swallow his pride. With a big gulp!

But it didn’t end there. He had to overcome resistance from his neighbor who told him to leave him alone. The man had to overcome this objection. How? By impudence. Perhaps that is really the only way to do it. Am I willing to be impudent with God? I should hope so, although I will need to overcome this challenge.

What’s the bottom line lesson?

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
Luke 11:13

Bingo! This is a critical piece to the puzzle I’m working on. I have an awareness of my sin and have repented. I have accepted that only God can remove my sin and that the Holy Spirit is how he does it. Now, I have humbled myself to ask through impudent prayer. Honestly, I may need to work on this before my heart is truly humble, truly in need, and truly have no alternative but to be…impudent.

It’s coming together!

Father, I am so amazed how you put each lesson in front of me, just what I need and just when I need it. This process isn’t done, but I have confidence that you will complete it in me and that I will be a witness to your glory. Amen.

Copyright © 2021 Scott Powers

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