Shameless Prayer – Gospel in Life

Shameless Prayer

Tim Keller |  January 31, 1993

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  • Prayer & Meditation
Luke 11:5-13
RS 39-11


When Jesus is asked by his disciples, “Lord, teach us to pray,” he tells them a story and puts forth an approach that runs against common sense and against what other religions say about prayer.

In the story, a man who’s in bed at midnight gives bread to another man who’s knocking and asking. Jesus says the man gives the bread not because the other man is his friend but because of the man’s boldness. Other ways to translate the word Jesus uses include shamelessness, rudeness, discourtesy, impertinence, and impudence. That’s what Jesus says is a model for our prayer. “Pray like that,” he says. “Bother God.”

Why should we pray this way? Jesus gives the answer: 1) it’s a way to judge our hearts today, and 2) it’s a way to actually live our lives tomorrow in a different way.

Luke 11:5–13

This passage teaches us about the importance of praying boldly and consistently, trusting in God’s goodness. It clears up some misunderstandings about prayer, showing us that we should approach God like a child does their loving parent—with trust, simplicity, and even a little bit of tenacity. It reminds us that prayer isn’t just about asking for things, but also about changing our hearts and understanding our identity as God’s children. This is what makes true Christianity different from just trying to be a good person.




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