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;…
Why does our Lord connect the importunity needful to arouse the feeble affections of sleepy man with prayer to our Father in heaven, who sleepeth not, and who is love itself? The disciples said, "Lord, teach us to pray," and He taught them. He gave them a simple but sevenfold prayer. Each petition was as clear as the light of heaven. Together the petitions were like seven burning lamps of the spirit of prayer which remain ever before God's throne. But if they would pray well, they must be fervent — not faint. God goes, indeed, give bread of heaven more willingly to His children than earthly parents give to theirs the bread of this world. But earthly parents do not get bread without husbandry, nor fish without tempestuous encounters with the weather, nor eggs without patient care for the fowls. And though God's Spirit is like the liberal air, the affluent sunshine, the multitudinous raindrops, yet as there must be seed in the ground for the rain to take effect, and lapse of days for the sunshine to mature the growth, and air, constant but changeful in its operation, that the living corn may abide and gain its sweetness, so only by patient working can God's spiritual gifts effect man's spiritual good. In our work God can only answer our effort through our patience prolonged; and after, in our prayers, He can only answer us by giving us work. You do not know the importunate effort your prayer implies. God is willing to give, and give at once; but He cannot give all things at once.
(T. T. Lynch.)
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;