Anaideia Praying

I’m reading in Luke 11:8 where Jesus tells the story of the shameless, imprudent, bold, rash friend who dares to make a totally selfish and inappropriate middle-of-the-night request for bread to feed his guests. Jesus says that we should ask God for what we need in this same manner.

Essentially, Jesus invites us to ask outrageously for what we need.

I don’t do this. I’m reserved. I’m proper. I’m full of appropriate, orderly prayers.

But this guy? Oh, he’s ridiculous. The passage reads:

Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’  I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

I just love this passage! I love that the friend is unprepared, obviously disorganized (there’s no food in the house!) and approaches someone at midnight with shameless audacity. The Greek word for this kind of asking is “anaideia,” and it translates as “shamelessness” and “imprudence.” Most translations say “persistence” or “boldness” as well.

I grab my prayer journal and begin scribbling down outrageous and shameless requests. I don’t censor myself. I don’t worry about what’s selfless, self-sacrificing, or even possible. I just go to God and ask Him for what my heart wants because He will give “as much as you need.” He knows and isn’t shocked or shaming. He opens the door and gives.

How fun to think that God invites outrageous praying.



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