And he said to them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves;…
I. THE REASONABLENESS AND INCUMBENCY OF IMPORTUNITY.
1. The reasonableness and incumbency of importunity in prayer appear from the majesty and holiness of that Being whom we address, contrasted with our own weakness and sinfulness. The depth of feeling and anxiety for success with which we approach to ask a favour of a fellow creature, bear a proportion to his dignity and worth: what reverence, then, what fervour, what earnestness and perseverence of supplication, become us in drawing near to the King of kings, and Lord of lords!
2. The reasonableness and incumbency of such importunity will further appear, if we consider the great value of the deliverances and positive blessings we implore. I speak here, of course, chiefly of spiritual deliverances and blessings. What more reasonable than that our anxiety and perseverance of pursuit should be regulated by the value of the objects we have in view? We should, unquestionably, grudge that earnestness and continuance of application to avert a trifling evil, or to obtain a trifling advantage, which we should yet think well spent to save our life, or to gain a kingdom. But, let us only think of the importance of the spiritual deliverances for which we pray to God — deliverance from destructive ignorance, error, unbelief, guilt, and pollution — deliverance from the curse of God now, and from the wrath to come — deliverance from everlasting misery — and then let us ask ourselves with what importunity we ought to pray for such deliverances. How will the man cry for help who perceives the surrounding tide approaching to overwhelm him! but how much more should we cry to God to save us from being drowned in eternal destruction and perdition?
II. ENCOURAGEMENTS TO IMPORTUNITY IN PRAYER.
1. It tends to prepare the mind for the blessings asked, and even is often the actual enjoyment of them. The Lord "prevents," that is, anticipates, "us with the blessings of goodness"; and while we are praying, as well as when we are musing, the fire of devotion burns.
2. Again, such prayer has the promise of being answered. The general command to pray implies a general promise of a favourable answer. But there are many particular and express promises of this kind, especially to those who pray with earnestness and perseverance (see ver. 9).
3. Consider, too, for your further encouragement, some of the many scriptural examples of the success of importunate prayer. Suffer me now, in conclusion, solemnly to ask, Are you given to such importunity in prayer?
(James Foote, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;