Yesterday we learned about the prayer of importunity. We looked at Luke 11:5-8 as an example of importune faith and importune unbelief. Today, let’s dig a bit deeper and talk about comparative and contrasting parables.
A comparative parable is when you are comparing the main character and their similarities in the parable to God the Father. A contrasting parable is when Jesus is showing the difference, or non-similarities between the characters and God.
There are many comparative and contrasting parables Jesus spoke about. An example of a comparative parable is the one where the child who was hungry asked his father for bread.
8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Jesus asked would the father give the child a stone instead of the bread. The answer was no. This is a comparative parable. He goes on to say, if we being ‘evil’, which translates ‘human’, would not give our children something that would harm them but we would give them the best we could, how much more would God give us all good things. Here God is being compared to the good father/mother who loves their children!
Yesterday, we also saw the friend who refused to help his neighbor until he could take the neighbor’s persistent knocking no more (Luke 11:9). This is a prime example of a contrasting parable in which Jesus shows how unlike God and God’s character is in contrast to the neighbor who thought of himself above his friend and his friend’s need.
The Bible does not contradict itself. If God tells us when we seek we shall find, knock and the door will be opened to us, and to ask and we will be given what we ask for, then that is the way to approach God and what we can expect of Him. When we are told through the contrasting parable of the neighbor who would not get up to help his friend until he pestered him to death that God is not like this unkind man, then we know we don’t have to do repetitive petitioning of the same thing over and over! If that were the case the Bible would indeed be contradicting itself.
In Luke 9 of some translations, it does say the following…
9 “So I say to you, keep asking,[a] and it will be given to you. Keep searching,[b] and you will find. Keep knocking,[c] and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son[d] asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish?
Why does it say this here, when clearly we have shown repetitive petitioning of the same thing is unbelief? This scripture does not mean that. It says to ‘keep searching and you will find’ or in other translations, ‘seek and you will find’. I didn’t just seek God forty nine years ago when I was first saved. I have spent my life seeking Him and His will and way in order to know Him on deeper and deeper and more personal levels. I sought Him as a child, I sought Him yesterday, and I will seek Him every day of my life in the future to develop and maintain my personal relationship with Him.
I haven’t gone to God knocking just once, but I have gone many times to ‘knock’ in search of deeper and deeper truths. It is the same thing with asking. I haven’t only gone to God once in my life and asked Him for just one thing. I have gone to God thousands of times to ask for whatever I desired or had need of that day.
The Bible tells us not to worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will have its own worries when we get there. In other words, God took care of today when we petitioned Him and He will take care of tomorrow when we petition Him about the new things that ‘tomorrow’ brought today. God is not a genie that grants three wishes. God is the born again child’s Father, Who is willing to give all He has on a daily basis! Hence, ask and keep on asking for our Father has all of Heaven and earth to give us!
It is so important to keep scripture in context and to read the entire passage it is in and not try to pull it out and make it stand alone. In order to have solid doctrine and truth, it must be found at least in three different places in the Bible. It is so important to view more than one translation, as well. This is ‘rightly dividing the Word of truth’ and it is ‘studying to show thyself approved’.
I hope if you had any questions, this has cleared them up for you, precious reader! God bless you! I will see you soon!
I have written on ‘The Blessing’, and I have much more to share on that subject. I am going to briefly interrupt that particular series because, honestly, I need to get this down in my spirit and writing helps me do that.
I have seen so much confusion about this following passage of scripture, and when I found this writing by Ken Hagin, Sr., I had to study it out and really get it in my spirit and mind! God does not want us confused, or in disagreement! There are people who are both confused and in disagreement over this particular passage, and they equate it to personal experiences and do not measure it with the full Word of God. You will always be confused, and most of the time wrong, when you do this!
I have heard the phrases, ‘praying through’, and ’pray until you touch God’, for a great deal of my life. What is praying through? Praying through should mean you pray until you become convinced God is willing to do for you what you have asked according to His word, not until you have convinced Him to stand by it. Too often the ‘old timers’ mean the last part of that sentence when they say this!
Remember faith is believing not only God can, but God will! God doesn’t need convincing! He said He valued His Word above His name! In other words, He stands by His promises readily and cannot break them. God isn’t even tempted to break His Word to you! He isn’t a liar or a con artist.
What does it mean when people say to pray until you touch God? They mean basically the same thing as ‘praying through’. It means you pray until God is touched and moved to compassion by your tears, sorrow, and pleading. This is so unbiblical I cannot believe anybody ever bought into it!
What touches God, according to the Bible, is faith! I don’t see anywhere, where the amount of tears you cry, how loud you scream, how much you beg, or the amount of times you ask Him for something ‘touches’ God. Again, you may need to pray until you are convinced, but God was convinced of His word and His willingness to give you the promises He made in the word the instant He said them!
I am taking the following from Ken Hagin’s “Prayer Workbook”. It explains this subject so well and so thoroughly. May our old ideologies that do not hold with the Bible be put to rest once and for all time!
THE PRAYER OF IMPORTUNITY
Luke recorded something about faith and prayer that neither Mark nor Matthew said. Luke talked about the prayer of importunity, that is, being persistent in your faith and in your praying. Again, so many people miss it when they hear that. They believe what Jesus is saying is this: ”You just keep on asking, and eventually you will get it.” Let’s look at this passage of scripture to see what it is actually saying.
5 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;
6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
Here was a man who had a friend who came to his house in the nighttime to visit. The man didn’t have any bread to set before his friend, so he went to another friend’s house and said, “A friend has come to visit and I have no food. Please, lend me three loaves of bread.”
The second friend said, “But, I’m already in bed and my children are in bed, too.” And the Bible says, “…Though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet because of IMPORTUNITY he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.” (Luke 11:8).
If you take this passage literally, then God would be likened to the friend who is in bed. However, we know that God never sleeps nor slumbers (Psalm 121:3-4). Therefore, we know this verse is showing us an analogy or a similarity to scriptural prayer because Jesus was teaching on prayer when He gave this illustration. He was proving a point.
Jesus was simply saying that even in the natural you could get results from a friend like the man did in Luke 11, not necessarily because a person was your friend, but because of your urgent request. In other words, a person might not grant the favor because he is your friend, but he would grant you the favor because of your importunity; that is, you wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Then Jesus said, “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Luke 11:9). You see, it is the importunity of faith, not the importunity of unbelief that gets the job done. However, you could just keep on begging God and be importunate all you want to, and you would never get an answer even if you lived to be a hundred years old! Why not? Because your importune praying must be in faith, not unbelief.
It is the importunity of faith that works. So believe God’s Word that when you ask, it shall be given you. When you seek, you shall find. When you knock, it shall be opened unto you!
I like something Andrew Murray said that will help you to see what I am talking about. As I said, so many people have the idea that if they keep on asking the same thing over and over again, eventually they will get their request. They seem to think that is what Jesus is talking about in the passages of Scripture we’ve covered in Matthew 7 and Luke 11. But as Andrew Murray said, it is not good taste to ask the Lord for the same thing over and over again. It is just not good taste; actually, it is doubt and unbelief.
Murray said that if you pray to God about something you’ve already prayed for and it hasn’t materialized, do not ask again the same way you did the first time. To do that would be a confession that you didn’t believe God the first time you asked Him! You could get into doubt and unbelief by asking for the same thing over and over again.
But just remind God of what you asked for if it hasn’t materialized yet. Remind Him of what He promised and put Him in remembrance of His Word (Isaiah 43:26). Remind Him that you are expecting the answer. That way you are staying in faith, and you are being persistent in your faith. That is what it means to be importunate in your faith, and this kind of praying will bring results.
You can see then that Jesus is saying in this passage the very opposite of what most people think He is saying. So don’t stay on the negative side of importunity in prayer–just asking and begging and crying and pleading in doubt and unbelief hoping that God has heard you. That kind of praying in unbelief will never bring any results.
Instead, ask God in faith according to His Word, and believe that you receive when you pray. Then be importunate in faith, continually thanking God for the answer to your prayers. That is the prayer of importunity that will always bring results!
God moves in this earth as His children pray in faith according to the principles in His Word. So pray for those who despitefully use you, and see God move in their lives for good. Pray for laborers to be sent into the harvest, and see your prayers answered as souls come into the Kingdom of God.
Never give up in prayer; never faint in your faith! As you continue diligently to pray in faith, more and more you will see God’s will fulfilled both in your life and in the lives of others!
So they went with haste and [by searching] found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known what had been told them concerning this Child, And all who heard it were astounded and marveled at what the shepherds told them. But Mary was keeping within herself all these things (sayings), weighing and pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them. Luke 2:16-20 AMP
And you, little one, shall be called a prophet of the Most High; for you shall go on before the face of the Lord to make ready His ways, To bring and give the knowledge of salvation to His people in the forgiveness and remission of their sins. Because of and through the heart of tender mercy and loving-kindness of our God, a Light from on high will dawn upon us and visit [us]. Luke 1:76-78 AMP
40 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”