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Parable of the Friend at Midnight Life Lessons

The Parable of the Friend at Midnight is also known as the Parable of the Friend at Night, the Parable of the Friend in Need, and the Parable of the Persistent Friend. 

The Parable of the Friend at Night is found in one Gospel in the Bible; Luke 11 5-13.

Parable of the Friend at Midnight Spiritual Lessons, Friend in Need - knocking on door

Parable of the Friend at Night Bible Verses, Luke 11 5 13 NIV

5 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; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 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.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[a] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[b] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Parable of the Friend at Midnight Summary

The Parable of the Friend at Night Summary is that if you go to your friend’s house at midnight for help (for bread in this case), even though it’s an inconvenience and your friend doesn’t want to be bothered, he will help you.

So it is that God looks forward to us coming to Him with our needs and desires. 

The Persistent Friend Parable Meaning

The Persistent Friend Parable meaning is that just as a person would help a friend in need even when it’s not convenient, that is only a fraction of God’s generosity to us when we bring our requests to Him and seek a relationship with Him.

God delights in answering our prayers, especially when we approach Him with persistent boldness. 

What is the moral of the Parable of the Friend at Midnight?

The moral of the Parable of the Friend at Midnight is that God wants us to approach Him with ‘shameless audacity’, that is with bold persistence.

We should keep asking, keep knocking, and keep seeking. As our Heavenly Father, He enjoys blessing His children when we come to Him. 

Parable of the Friend at Midnight Lessons

Let’s take a closer look at 4 Life Lessons from the Parable of the Friend at Midnight.

1. Ask, Seek, and Knock

The Parable of the Friend at Midnight is a similar theme to the Parable of the Persistent Widow. They tell us to approach God with persistent earnestness, that when we ask we will receive, when we knock, the door will be opened, and when we seek Him, we will find Him.

Matthew 7:7-12 is a familiar verse about ‘asking, seeking, and knocking’. It says: 

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

God wants us to come to Him, to seek Him out. He wants to delight us with gifts and blessings.

We can understand this more fully when we imagine being a human parent to children who are ambivalent to you. They don’t visit, call, or check-in. You get Christmas and birthday gifts out of obligation.

What about if you had a child who sought out time with you? Who called and visited and spent the time to develop a real relationship with you. Would you delight in pleasing those children? Would you enjoy giving them gifts? Of course!

Does that mean you don’t love the others? Of course not! Does it mean you don’t give the others gifts and blessings? No. It just means that God is happiest when we seek Him out and delights most in those who ask, seek, and knock.

2. Don’t worry about being a pest

Some people think of God like a genie in a bottle – that we only get a set amount of wishes, so we better make them good ones. They think we shouldn’t bother God with the little things. 

The Parable of the Friend at Midnight reminds us that this ‘genie in a bottle’ philosophy cannot be further from the truth. It’s impossible to have too many requests for God! We are never a pest to Him and He never gets sick of hearing from us.

The more often you turn to God, whatever the reason, the happier He is. He delights in His children and that means He loves hearing from you and enjoys answering your prayers and blessing you.

3. Go to God with Shameless Audacity

The Parable of the Friend at Midnight states, “yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.”

We might feel that “shameless audacity” is a bad way to approach people, but the parable says it’s the right approach to use in our relationship with God.

Shameless means not caring how poorly we might be perceived and audacity is a boldness that’s mixed with rudeness and overbearing. 

God wants us to come to Him, unashamed. He wants us to assume He will listen to our prayers and answer them. He wants us to ask for our hearts’ desires and pour out ourselves to Him in total trust.

God answers our prayers because He loves us and to preserve His good name. Go to Him with shameless audacity.

4. I Asked, Seeked, and Knocked – and He said ‘No!’

How many times have you heard Bible verses to ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, and knock and the door will open and think: that’s not true!

You asked for your child to live and she died. You asked for a good man and found an abuser instead. You asked for your mother to be cured and she wasn’t. You asked for a good job and can’t find one.

While I certainly can’t answer for God, I know God’s plan is perfect, even when we don’t understand it. When we feel He’s telling us ‘no’, it might be ‘not yet’. 

When we ask for healing and the sick person dies, they are certainly healed in heaven. Does that answer look like the one we had in mind? No, we wanted that person to be healthy and still living with us! But they ARE healed in heaven, so the prayer is answered!

Sometimes God makes us wait. We see this many times in the Bible. We see promises that take centuries to come to fruition.

God also protects us from ourselves sometimes. When we wish for something that He knows is harmful to us, He will not walk us into the fire. 

When we trust God, we seek out His will. If we trust that His plan is better than ours, we pray for His will over our own. 

God always answers us. Maybe not today or tomorrow. Maybe not in the way we imagined it to be.

But God is always on our side and has our best interests in mind. We can trust He will answer when we ask, open the door when we knock, and show up when we seek Him.

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Commentary: Luke 11 5 13 Parable of the Friend at Night

Find The Parable of the Friend at Midnight (The Parable of the Friend in Need, The Parable of the Friend at Night, or The Parable of the Persistent Friend) Commentaries at Bible Study Tools.com. They include free and paid versions. For this article, I referred to Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary and John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible.

This post may contain affiliate links. This is my full disclosure.

More Parables!

Do you love the parables as much as I do? You may enjoy reading life lessons on these others (listed below), these activities for adults and children, or this list of Parables and Meanings. More parable lessons are underway. See them all HERE!

Do you love journaling? Does writing down your personal reflections help you process your thoughts more fully? Perhaps these Christian writing journals will be helpful as you reflect on the life lessons of the parables.

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