Praying with Shameless Audacity

I love the word audacious. 

It’s one of those words that I want to repeat under my breath a few times after I use it. It’s so satisfying to say. Audacious. 

Merriam-Webster defines audacious as being “intrepidly daring,” fearless, bold.

We always become fascinated with something that we’re not but want to be. This is mine. I want to be audacious. After all, it’s biblical – more on that later.    

Perhaps, my fascination with the word stems from who I think of when I say the word: my nieces and nephews when they were little, before life got a hold of them. Life has a tendency to do that, get a hold of you at a certain age. My nephew is a fierce kid even now. He’s a wrestler on a team that just walked away with the state championship, and it seems like every picture of him that I see on Instagram features him with a good shiner or a fat lip.  

But that’s not how I picture him when I think of the word audacious. I picture him as a three-year-old toddler sitting at Nana’s worn kitchen table that has been around as long as I have. He has syrup smudged across his face where he tried to wipe it off with an equally sticky hand. He’s gripping a fork in one pudgy hand, and with a big grin on his face, he yells, “Mo’ waffles!”  

He doesn’t care that they’re pancakes and not waffles; he doesn’t care that he has more syrup on his face and shirt than he does on his plate; he doesn’t care that he can’t quite say the word more correctly; he doesn’t care that he just polished off five pancakes already. He knows that Nana will turn around from the stove, give him a smile, and pour one more “bigfoot pancake” into the cast-iron skillet. 

I love how audacious his grin is in that moment – half daring, half pure trust.

I love this word because it’s key to one of my favorite parables that Jesus told. Jesus’ disciples just asked him to teach them to pray, and Jesus launches into the most iconic prayer, the Lord’s Prayer. Then, without a pause, he starts to tell a story about a guy who knocks on his neighbor’s door at midnight asking for a loaf of bread.  

Jesus says in Luke 11:5 (NIV), “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 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.’” 

That sounds reasonable to me. To be honest, I’m not completely sure that I would have gone to the door in the first place in the middle of the night.  

But Jesus continues the story, “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.” 

That’s a good point. I may not have gotten up in the middle of the night to give my neighbor a loaf of bread to be friendly or neighborly (Couldn’t it wait until at least 6 a.m.?), but I would probably do it because, really, who knocks on their neighbor’s door at midnight for a loaf of bread for a friend that’s coming to visit? That’s audacious.  

Merriam-Webster goes on to define audacious as “recklessly bold; contemptuous of law, religion, or decorum; marked by originality.”  

Don’t miss this. This is one of the scriptures that has totally changed the way I approach God, and it has transformed my relationship with Him. Jesus followed up what to pray with how to pray, and it’s shameless. It’s daring. And it’s definitely original.  

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

If we’re following the example of the shamelessly audacious neighbor, don’t stop knocking 

So I’ll ask you, what do you need? What’s on your heart? 

When you can pour out your heart to your Father in prayer - every need, every broken place, every praise, every desperation, every aggravation, every joy – God will pour His heart into yours.

Bring it. It doesn’t matter what time it is; it doesn’t matter if you can say it with all the right words. You’re not overstepping with your Father. He’s asking you to ask 

Here’s my challenge to you: Get a “mo’ waffle” kind of grin on your face – the kind that is daring but completely trusting in your Father – get on your knees, and start asking. Be shamelessly audacious 

Just watch and see what God does.  

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