How many times have I, and maybe you, wondered, “Do my prayers really make a difference? Are they really of great influence?” Recently I looked at this parable in Luke of a middle man who was asked for something he couldn’t provide. He had the gall to go and wake his friend at midnight, asking for bread at this very inconvenient hour of the night. The truth was that the friend was already asleep, and his bread was most likely the morning breakfast for his own family. Why on earth would he get up, to start with, and then give away what was his, food planned for his own family?
The persistence of the first friend is the key. The Bible tells us that, ‘I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs’ (Luke 11:8). What a statement! Out of the middle man’s persistence, that which was needed was given.
Just backing up a little, let’s think about the middle man’s predicament. He too had been inconvenienced by a person in need. Not being able to provide what was required, instead of turning down the person in need, he took it upon himself to get out of his bed and risk a friendship to go and plead for food on his behalf. And it was given.
But if we apply this to ourselves, as those who bring others’ need before the throne of grace, as intercessors, how different it looks. As believers, we know the source of all good things, Jesus. So, we can be likened to the middle man.
We have prayer needs brought to us that are far and above what we have wisdom, experience or knowledge of. We have no bread to give. All we can do is pray. All? No, actually, praying is the most essential thing to do.
As we get out of our comfort zone and approach the ‘Friend’ who has that which is needed, we can be assured that He’ll give it to us, just as we ask, to provide for the hungry one who comes in need. He gives us the Bread of Life, Jesus, to feed and nourish the hungry.
We don’t have to have the answer. We don’t have to strive or get up to ‘bake the bread’ ourselves (doing it in our own strength). No! We can approach the throne of grace with confidence, that, as we inconvenience ourselves to bring the needs of others before our Father, He will give that which is needed. It may not look the way we expect it to look, but we can be assured of God’s faithfulness, as we continue to hold up dear ones before God.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You that You’re the bread of life and the living water. Thank You that, as we intercede for others, You give Yourself to them. You are the faithful One. How amazing, how divine, is Your ultimate sacrifice for me, that I may gain what is needed from the Father! Please help me to be an effective middle man, to Your glory. Amen.
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