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Perseverance in Prayer

5 And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.

9 “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”


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5-8. at midnight … for a friend is come—The heat in warm countries makes evening preferable to-day for travelling; but "midnight" is everywhere a most unseasonable hour of call, and for that very reason it is here selected.

7. Trouble me not—the trouble making him insensible both to the urgency of the case and the claims of friendship.

I cannot—without exertion which he would not make.

8. importunity—The word is a strong one—"shamelessness"; persisting in the face of all that seemed reasonable, and refusing to take a denial.

as many, &c.—His reluctance once overcome, all the claims of friendship and necessity are felt to the full. The sense is obvious: If the churlish and self-indulgent—deaf both to friendship and necessity—can after a positive refusal, be won over, by sheer persistency, to do all that is needed, how much more may the same determined perseverance in prayer be expected to prevail with Him whose very nature is "rich unto all that call upon Him" (Ro 10:12).

9-13. (See on Mt 7:7-11.)

13. the Holy Spirit—in Matthew (Mt 7:11), "good gifts"; the former, the Gift of gifts descending on the Church through Christ, and comprehending the latter.




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