“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.”
There is nothing that will get your attention more than the nagging and persistent whining of a dog. It gets your attention because it annoys it. One of the dogs that I own, Tydy, has gotten to the point where she whines in her older years. My wife and I will be sitting in the living room, and Tydy will sit and whine until she gets what she wants. Of course, my wife nor I speak dog language, so to figure out what she is whining about takes a bit of time, and it is VERY annoying until we figure it out. To be clear, Tydy doesn’t get what she wants because she is a good dog; she gets what she wants because of her persistence to whine.
This is what God is teaching in the verse above. God says that the friend got from his friend what he was asking, not because of his friendship, but “because of his importunity.” This friend kept knocking on his friend’s door and asking for bread until he got that for which he was asking.
God says that one way you get your prayers answered is to be importunate in your prayers. The word “importunity” means to be nagging and persistent, even to the point of annoying. In other words, just like Tydy whined to the point of annoying me to get what she wanted, God wants you to continue to ask to the point of annoyance. God further explains this by saying in verse 10, “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Notice the words, “asketh, seeketh,” and “knocketh.” These words imply a continual asking, seeking, and knocking until you get from God what you need or want. Let me give you a couple of thoughts about being importunate in your prayers.
First, God wants you to be importunate in your prayer life. God would have never given this example had He not wanted you to pray importunately. One of the greatest reasons believers don’t get their prayers answered is because their prayers are a one and done prayer. God wants to see how serious you are about getting your prayers answered.
Second, you will never be importunate in your prayer life until you are willing to be inconvenienced to pray. If you are looking for a convenient time to pray for what you need, you will never be persistent with your prayers. My friend, it is never convenient to pray. Prayer is often the most neglected command in the believer’s life because you must inconvenience yourself to pray. Prayer is inconvenient, but being importunate is the key to answered prayers.
Third, the importunate prayer life is accomplished because of a stubborn person who won’t stop praying until they get an answer. Let me ask you, how stubborn are you? Are you willing to keep going back to God until you get your prayer answered, or do you give up quickly because of being inconvenienced? You will never have a successful prayer life until you are stubborn enough to be importunate with your prayer life.
Let me ask you, when is the last time you sat and “whined” to God until you got what you were whining about? It would be a shame that a dog is more importunate about what it wants from its owner than you are about your needs. When your need becomes desperate to your existence is when you will become importunate in your prayer life.