Use this devo as you are able, in whole or in part. Don’t feel compelled to read it all. Simply read and meditate upon whatever catches your attention. The goal is enjoying time with God through His Word and in prayer. Questions about the devotional elements?
Call to Prayer
But I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. (Micah 7:7)
Prayer of Confession
Confession is formative. It trains us to recognize the ways our hearts have become de-formed and how Christ is at work bringing redemption in our lives. Pray with this in mind.
Lord God, as we prepare our house for the coming Christmas season, we would also prepare our hearts for the returning Christ. You came once for your people, O Lord, and you will come for us again.
Though there was no room at the inn to receive you upon your first arrival, We would prepare you room here in our hearts and here in our home, Lord Christ. Amen.
Take a moment to confess your sins, knowing that he hears you.
Advent Reading Plan
During Advent this year we are using the He Reads Truth and She Reads Truth Advent Devos. Readings in this plan will cover the whole of Scripture and directly point us to Christ. We will resume our OPC|M Daily Reading Plan on December 26.
This section of the Devo focuses on the passage(s) for Sunday’s sermon. Go ahead and read the following passage(s) and use theParables Reading Plan + Study Guide to journal what stands out and what you have questions about in the passages. Below is a helpful commentary that can help to fill in the gaps.
Read: Luke 11:1-13 + Isaiah 55:6 + Revelation 3:20
I promise that we will explore this parable for ourselves the rest of this week, but again Michael Card’s insights are too good to pass up. Here’s what he says about our parable:
“Jesus follows the example of prayer with the first of two parables he will tell on the topic of prayer. (The other is found in Lk 18:1-8.) It is a delightfully rustic story of two men, one who needs bread in the middle of the night and the other who is sound asleep in the family bed amid a pile of slumbering little children. It is a story based on the obligations of Jewish hospitality—the kind of hospitality Jesus and the disciples have just received from Martha and on which they depended for their lives when they were on the road.
The first man has had a surprise visitor in the middle of the night, and his cupboard is empty. After he knocks at his friend’s door, he hears a sleepy voice from the inside telling him to go away: everyone is asleep. Anyone with children, especially more than one, understands his reluctance to wake them up. Without painting a detailed picture of the first man persistently knocking until the sleeper gets up to help, Jesus implies that his persistence does the trick and that he finally gets what he wants. That is by far the most popular interpretation of this parable. But there is another.
In Luke 11:8, the “his” in the phrase “because of his persistence” is normally thought to refer to the first man—the one who is knocking. But the Greek is ambiguous. It could refer to the sleeper. And the word translated “persistence” can also mean “shameless.” In this version, the sleeper gets up and provides for his friend because he wants to avoid the shame of violating the law of hospitality.
I lean toward this second view. I like the idea that our confidence in prayer should come not from us “getting it right”—that is, knocking long enough for the door to open—but rather from the knowledge that the One who sometimes seems to be sleeping will answer because of his commitment to doing what he has promised. When Jesus uses the rabbinic “how much more” (qal vahomer) at the conclusion of this block of teaching, he places the parable within that interpretive context. That is, if the lazy, good-for-nothing neighbor will get up to avoid being shamed, then how much more will the Lord answer the door of prayer when we knock?
In verse 9 Jesus sums it up like this: ask, seek, knock. Be confident in prayer, not because you have gotten the words just right (hence the bald-faced simplicity of the prayer Jesus had just taught them) but because of the goodness of the One to whom you are praying.
Evening Prayer of Examen
- Where did you move with or feel close to Jesus today?
- Where did you resist or feel far from Jesus today?
- Where is Jesus leading you tomorrow? Ask for joy as you follow him.
“The sun will no longer be your light by day, and the brightness of the moon will not shine on you. The LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your splendor.” (Isaiah 60:19)