Luke 11:5-8 (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 he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

What does it mean that even though he "will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship", he "will surely get up and give you as much as you need" ?

Why will the friend not give the bread because of friendship (shouldn't it be the other way round) ?


In the King James Version, verse 8 doesn't say "your audacity," but "his importunity" (literally: inconvenience from a persistent request.) The basic idea is that he'll get up and do it just to get you to go away and quit keeping him awake with your banging on the door.

  • 1
    The following verse states: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find . I was wondering does verse 5-8 hints that it is Ok to "constantly ask" for the same thing?
    – Pacerier
    Aug 28 '11 at 18:56
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    @Pacerier: Yes, it looks like that's the message here. This is in the middle of a section on prayer. I don't think the point is to actually depict God's character that way, but to draw a parallel and make the point that even if you don't get an answer to your prayers right away, you should keep praying. (However, it's also important to learn to recognize when you do get an answer and the answer is "no".)
    – Mason Wheeler
    Aug 28 '11 at 18:58
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    I am not so sure that the message is the "badger" God by going on and on and on, so much as it's to approach God with confidence and audacity. That being said, Daniel prayed and fasted for 21 days; when his angel finally arrived Daniel was giving to know that the angel had been dispatched immediately, but was detained by a very "inconsiderate" demon.
    – user32
    Aug 28 '11 at 21:29

It's easier to understand this when you compare it to the widow and the judge parable.

The judge ignores the women, but she keeps pressing to get her way and finally the judge breaks down and gives the widow what she wants.

In the same way, if you go to your friends house late at night asking for something, he will not give it to you just because you are friends. But if you shamefully continue to nag at his door at 3am, then your friend will eventually give in and give you what you want.

You are right, it should be the other way around, but the bible tells is that we are all selfish and wicked in our ways. Man does everything naturally, the opposite of good.


Jesus here is instructing us how to pray. The lesson is to keep on praying and keep faith-God will always give you an answer and give you what you need. Its our job to to keep praying and growing in the spirit and to learn to pray for God's Kingdom and Will first. Our own, selfish wants are rarely in line with God's Will. Hypothetically someone may be praying for a good grade on a college exam, but really they should be praying for the ability to put in the hard work to prepare for the exam.


When reading Luke 11:5-8 what comes to mind and in my heart is that as Christians regardless of how we feel we should always serve those in need. To expand on this proverbs 25:21-22 if thine enemy be hungry give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head,and the Lord shall reward thee. (kjv)


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