Passionate Desperation


Luke 11:8 I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his friend’s persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.


The father with a possessed son cried out an admission of faithlessness. A sick woman was a nuisance as she intruded on people to make her way to Christ. A Greek woman with a possessed daughter made herself to be a dog before the Master. A tax collector that everyone hated climbed a tree where everyone could see him. A man with a deformity stood up in the middle of church. A blind man cried out incessantly for the Son of David to have mercy on him even when people shamed him for doing so.

They all got what they wanted.

Are you desperate?

Could there be any truth that our nation has fallen away from God because we’re not desperate? Have we deviated from pure, undefiled religion to man’s prescribed liturgy in which our short time of prayer and petition is reserved, polite and careful?

God doesn’t want us to be reserved, polite and careful. He’s not going to be overwhelmed, offended or injured.  Since salvation came 2000 years ago, people of all different tribes and tongues have, in desperation, madly and violently accessed the Kingdom of Heaven. And on their behalf, the Kingdom of Heaven has been moved.

This is the lesson for us in Luke 11:8. Jesus is teaching His disciples first “the Lord’s prayer” or what to pray (v. 2-4). He concludes by teaching them what to expect; the Holy Spirit when they pray (v. 10-13). But here in verse 8, He tells us how to pray.

“yet because of his friend’s persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.”

“Persistence” is how most versions translate ἀναίδεια anaídeia. It’s a compound word literally meaning without shame. My concordance uses words like

shameless       reckless       audacity

It’s more than a persistent incessant knocking. It’s a pounding at the door of heaven.

It’s not just politely, quietly asking. It’s pleading like an injured beggar.

It’s not just leisurely seeking. It’s a desperate hunt in pitch darkness for a single key that opens your only door to light and life.

How are you praying?

Consider that God’s hope for you, your family, your city is not on His heart as a mere wish but beats with a passion epitomized at the cross. How shameless, how audacious, how reckless was the cross! But it was for the joy of you and me that He endured it.


Your careful, polite, reserved prayer is a light knock at God’s door with no admission of your real need and no real expectation that He will come and answer.

To hell with that kind of prayer. I want heaven, instead.

One thought on “Passionate Desperation

  1. There’s prayer and then there’s PRAYER. Why is it that the prayer with a capital P seems to occur when there is nowhere else to turn but to God? When we have done all WE can, without Him, then our prayer gets capital-P-serious. My Father has brought me to my self-sufficient knees… actually, they aren’t so self-sufficient any more… on more than one occasion; He does this so that I will depend on HIM. He longs for that, not in the big, scary, nowhere-else-to-turn events in our lives, but also in the small ones. Thanks for the reminder that rote, quick prayers are not what the Father longs to hear. (And watch your langauge, son.)

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