Psalm 27: 7-12
Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Saviour.
Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
Do not hand me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
Luke 11: 5-8
Then Jesus said to them, ‘Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.” And suppose the one inside answers, “Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.” I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
Notice how David prays. Not with passive, hesitant, ‘if it be thy will’ prayers. He’s direct, he’s bold and he’s specific about what he wants.
He says: 'God, hear my voice when I call. Listen to me. Answer me.'
He’s confident. He declares that even though his father and mother might forsake him, he knows God will never turn him away.
He's seeking direction: 'Teach me your way, God guide me, direct me, let me know what you want me to do.'
He's requesting protection: 'Do not hand me over to my enemies – protect me, deliver me.'
He prays bold, confident prayers to a God who, he knows, is listening.
In Luke 11 Jesus told a story about someone who goes to their friend late at night to borrow some bread. Their friend is ticked off at being woken up so late and refuses at first to give him anything. But look at what Jesus says: “…because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.”
I love that phrase ‘shameless audacity.’ Obviously Jesus isn’t saying that God is reluctant to answer prayer. He’s using contrast between this man and God. But He is blatantly encouraging us to have shameless audacity towards God if it seems He is slow to respond to our prayers. The dictionary describes ‘audacity’ as: extraordinary boldness; fearless daring; insolent heedlessness of restraints; forwardness; brazenness. Jesus says that’s how we come to God until we see Him move. With extraordinary boldness and brazenness.
He wants us to come. He wants to hear your prayers. So don’t shrink back. Don’t become timid.
Bill Johnson of Bethel Church tells a great story about a family reunion some years ago. There was about 160 people at it and they rented a camp ground in Northern California. One of the evenings, for fun apparently, someone had scheduled square dancing for them all. Bill says no matter what, he doesn’t dance. He doesn’t care if it’s square dancing or a nightclub – he just doesn’t dance. He finds it embarrassing. In school he got out of all the dances by telling the teacher that his church didn’t allow dancing.
And so here he is at this family reunion and embarrassing dancing is on the schedule. Even his wife knew it would be pointless for her to try and persuade him, he’s so stubborn about such things. He doesn’t change his mind easily.
They went to the hall where the party was in full swing, and entire families were attempting to dance together. Bill watched everyone having fun and stepping on each other’s feet. Yet he was as firm as ever, that no matter what, he wasn’t for dancing.
Then he says, the unexpected happened. His daughter Leah, then about ten years old said: "Daddy will you dance with me."
He says in that moment, as solid as his feet were, as firm his resolve was, he looked at his daughter and found himself saying: "Yes, I’ll dance with you."
He says as he looked into his daughters eyes as they danced together, the happiness in her eyes more than made up for his feelings of embarrassment.
In that moment he understood how fathers make themselves vulnerable to the desires of their children – and how God joyfully makes himself vulnerable to the desires of His people.
Hebrews 4: 16 says: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence…” It’s a throne which indicates power and sovereignty. In other words God is able to do anything.
But it’s a throne of grace which means that no matter how unworthy we feel, He still hears and answers. It’s an unconditional welcome when we come to Him. That’s where we get our confidence and boldness. He invites us. He wants us to come. He wants to hear your prayers.
So don’t shrink back. Don’t become timid. Be bold.