July 29, 2007

My cupboard is bare

Luke 11:1–13 … Teach us to pray. Hmm.

…one of [Jesus’] disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray…” …Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and she goes to that friend at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’

“Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give her the bread because she is his friend, yet because of the woman’s boldness he will get up and give her as much as she needs.

I heard this, went home, and sat in my chair to reflect. Here’s what hit me: This woman is not asking for something for herself. She’s asking for food for a visiting friend, because her own cupboard is bare.

In my intercession for the people I love, my cupboard is bare—and Jesus is telling me what I can do about it. If I go to my creator God, who is far more powerful and compassionate (one assumes) than any of my neighbors, and ask for something on behalf of a stranded visitor who’s in my house, God will not refuse me.


  1. In this particular passage, Jesus is talking about asking on behalf of others, not on behalf of ourselves, and
  2. He’s talking about asking for *food* … necessities; sustenance, not luxuries, and
  3. The one praying is literally the “intercessor” in that she herself will deliver the bread. (*sigh*)

The rest of my prayer time went something like this….

God, God! It’s the middle of the night inside me, I am so tired inside, and I have no power to help these people I love. Help, help! They are tired too, and they need food, and only you have it. Please provide it. I can’t save them! I can’t heal them!

And if I must be the one to deliver what you give them, I will, if you show me how. I don’t want to. But you know that.