Maybe one of the most telling statements David ever made was at the beginning of Psalm 22. He asks God, “why have you abandoned me?” Hundreds of years later Jesus would quote these same words on the cross. Can your relate? Have you had times in your life that you may felt as if God abandoned you? Was there a time when you cried out and called out but it seems as if no one was listening?
It is in these moments we learn from Jesus. In Luke 11 he instructs his disciples how to pray and tells the following story starting in verse 5.
Luke 11:5–8 (NLT)
5 Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, 6 ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ 7 And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ 8 But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.
Jesus tells us to come to God with shameless persistence. I find Jesus’ choice of words to be very curious. Shamelessness often has a negative connotation. but that is exactly how God wants us to come to him. When I make a request and the answer is “no,” I will often give up and throw in the towel. I am not the type of person who will not take “no” for an answer. But Jesus is telling us here not to take “no” for an answer. He goes on further to say:
Luke 11:9-12 (NLT)
9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not!
When God’s child makes a request, God responds. God is not in the business of giving snakes and scorpions. He gives you what is good for you in the right time and the right place. You have not received a snake from God. You have not received a scorpion from God. It is hard to believe that sometimes. It is by faith we receive that is true. We often think we know what is better than God. But God is the Father and we are his children.
Many times the answer to our prayer is just part of a puzzle. It may feel as if God abandoned you because he is up to a greater work than we can imagine but may not be able to fully see right now. He is putting all the pieces of the puzzle into place. The answer to our prayer is a piece at the very center of the puzzle and before it will fit all the other pieces need to get into place.
So don’t give up hope. Keep praying. Keep listening to him through the Word. God does hear and God is up to something really great.