6TH OCTOBER 2022
After teaching a model prayer, Jesus instructs his disciples to pray to God their Heavenly Father with the same boldness, daring, intimacy, conviction, persistence, and perseverance that both Abraham and the “friend in need” in the parable used. Jesus gives us the assurance that God will not be irritated by our requests, nor will He be unwilling to meet them with generosity. Jesus stresses the power of intercessory prayer and the necessity for persistence, perseverance, trusting Faith, and the boldness of Faith in our prayer.
By presenting the parable of the “friend in need,” Jesus in our today’s gospel emphasizes our need for that persistent and persevering prayer which acknowledges our total dependence on God. In the ancient Hebrew world, hospitality was the essence of one’s goodness, and, hence, to welcome a visitor without food and drink was unthinkable. A traveler who was traveling in the evening to avoid the heat of the afternoon might well arrive late at night. So in this parable, when a man received an unexpected guest late at night and found his cupboard bare, he went to the man next door, woke him up, and asked him for a loaf of bread.
Because of the persistence of his neighbor, Jesus says, the householder though not willing to get up for friendship’s sake, would get up and give him the bread he needed for his guest. This parable of Friend at Midnight is both an assurance that prayer is always answered and an encouragement to pray. This parable stresses the necessity for our persisting in prayer as the expression of our total dependence on God. St. Paul says, “Be constant in prayer” (Rom 12:12), “pray at all times” (Eph 6:18), “be steadfast in prayer” (Col 4:2), and “pray constantly” (2 Thes 5:17). Jesus assures us, “Knock and the door will be opened” (Lk 11: 10). We need to stop giving lame excuses for not praying.