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Word Wednesday: Don’t Pray Nice, Anaideia

Pray Boldly

“I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of this man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you: Ask and you it will be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” ~ Luke 11:8,9

When my kids were little, we were very strict parents. We didn’t allow arguing. We taught them to place their hand on our arm if they needed to interrupt a conversation. They couldn’t ask their question until I found a break in my conversation and turned my eyes to them.

I have great kids, but sometimes I wonder if we were too strict. And I’m sure that what we taught them transferred to the way they talk to God.

Photo by Andy Lee Costa Rica
Photo by Andy Lee Costa Rica

Religion is a strict parent. it demands the following of rules and polite manners. Our Western religious rules and our Puritan culture confuse and confound the truth. Our portrait of Jesus becomes fuzzy. Our painting of God often tyrannical. (Especially for those who don’t know His love.)

The fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom, but God is love. God established His holiness, righteousness, and power in the Old Testament, but He completed His portrait, put skin on the invisible God when He sent His Son. Jesus demonstrated grace in flesh.

The scripture above was a lesson on prayer given by Jesus. The disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray. Jesus first tells them what we call The Lord’s Prayer, and then He goes into this parable…this story. Don’t we understand better through stories?

North Carolina ocean wave
North Carolina ocean wave

Pray Without Manners

On a dark, cold, night, at the midnight hour a desperate friend has the audacity to bang on a neighbor’s door and ask for bread.

“Go home. It’s late. I’m in bed,” says the friend whose door is being pounded. “You’re going to wake up the whole house!” But the desperate, bold neighbor persists. The scripture tells us that the man gets out of bed and gives what was petitioned not because they were friends but because of the man’s boldness. But this man was more than bold.

The ancient Greek word is anaideia:

“Shamelessness, unabashedness, audacity. The word describes the brazen persistence displayed in the pursuit of something, an insistence characterized by rudeness and a lack of compunction.” ~Key-Word NIV

 

Insistence characterized by rudeness without guilt.

Pray rudely…it’s okay.

Yep. I know. It goes against everything we good girls were taught. It goes against our religion. But keep in mind, this is what Jesus taught! Pray with brazen persistence and do not give up.

It’s good to teach our kids manners. But we need to teach them that when it comes to God, Jesus taught us that we don’t have to put our hand on God’s arm and wait for Him to tell us when we can ask our question. I think we can also teach them that you can hound God. God has the final answer. Stomp you foot. Bang on the door. Don’t give up!

Go beyond bold. Pray with rude persistence. What are your thoughts? Does this bother you? Is it difficult to think of praying to God with shameless, rude, audacity?

Much Grace,

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8 thoughts on “Word Wednesday: Don’t Pray Nice, Anaideia

  1. It definitely goes against the grain of my upbringing to think that I can pray rudely to God (not that I haven’t from time to time done so). I always think back to stories like Job where he rails and accuses God and how God shamed and humbled him with His response. But it is certainly a blessing to know that in an era of grace we can go to God without pomp and circumstance, without shaking in the corner for fear of how He will react. Great post!

  2. Andy, as a child my mother often said, “Valerie, quit stomping your feet!”. Thank you for giving me permission to do so! And thank you for continuing to be an encouragement to me and so many others.

    1. Isn’t it funny how we carry our upbringing into our spiritual life? Go girl! Stomp those feet! I’ve done it, and He answered so faithfully. So glad you were encouraged.

  3. Excellent word! Some days we crawl up in our Daddy’s lap and make our requests, but other times our need is unexpected or overwhelms us and we just need to bravely bang on the door of heaven!

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