During July and August, our sermon series is on PERSEVERING, and we are using stories from the book of Acts to learn how to persevere in our discipleship. As I was studying this topic, I came across another story where someone had persevered in getting what they needed. In Luke 11: 5-13, Jesus tells of a friend who needs some bread and knocks on a neighbor’s door late at night with his request. At first the answer is “no” but the friend is persistent in knocking and asking for bread. Finally, Jesus says, the neighbor will get up and get the bread. And if the neighbor does this, won’t your Creator who loves you do this and more?
Bread is always on my shopping list, but rarely in my prayers. That is, unless I’m praying the Lord’s Prayer, when we say, “give us this day, our daily bread.” When we pray this, we are asking for the provisions we need for the day – like the manna that was found on the ground every morning while the Israelites journeyed through the wilderness. As we persevere through this life, God will provide for us. It doesn’t always look like we imagined, but it is available when we work together for the Kingdom of God.
Bread also refers to Jesus, the ‘bread of heaven.” Jesus fills our hearts and souls, like a bun or loaf fills our bellies. He fills it with love, second chances, purpose, and relationship. When we are persistent with our requests for bread, when we persevere in our prayers for what we need, God will provide. Again, it may come in a different form we imagined, or a different time we expect. But God hears us and wants us to be persistent in our listening for the Holy Spirit. Just as we ask, seek and knock – we can listen, be still and aware of God’s fulfillment.