Shameless Audacity

I have read through the Bible several times so it’s not like I haven’t read a portion before, but nevertheless, sometimes a phrase jumps out at me. I ask myself why I hadn’t seen it before, yet I know it’s always been there. Today, as I was reading through Luke 11, the phrase “shameless audacity” jumped up and bit me in the nose. Here is what it said:

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.” (Luke 11:8 NIV)

As I left my morning devotions to go to work, that phrase kept running around in my mind. The first chance I could get, I got on my computer and started doing a study of those words. The New Testament, where the book of Luke is found, was originally written mostly in Greek. The Greek word here for shameless audacity is “anaideim”. It’s actually the combination of A (which is the Greek letter alpha) and “aidos” which means shame. When alpha is put with another word, it means “without”. So alpha with “aidos” means without shame.

When people translated the Greek to English, they had to find words that they believed most correctly brought the meaning of the Greek into our English language (or whatever language you are reading God’s word in). Different people might translate those words differently. Here are some other translations of that Greek word “anaideim”:

  • Shameless audacity – New International Version (NIV)
  • Importunity – King James Version (KJV)
  • Brashness – Common English Bible (CEB)
  • Shameless boldness – Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
  • Impudence – English Standard Version (ESV)
  • Shamelessness – New American Standard Bible (NASB)
  • Persistence – New King James Version (NKJV)

The interesting thing is that the words “shameless audacity” fall right in the middle of Jesus’ teaching about prayer to his disciples. If we look a little before verse eight and a little after verse eight, this is what we find:

  • Luke 11: 1 Jesus is modeling prayer (He lets his disciples see him praying)
  • Luke 11:2-4 Jesus teaches them the “Our Father” (He tells them what to pray)
  • Luke 11:5-8 Jesus tells them a parable about going to ask for bread from your friend in the middle of the night. This is where our key verse is found. (He tells them how to pray)
  • Luke 11:9-10 Jesus is teaching about the “ask, seek, knock” principle. If you ask, seek and knock you will receive, find and the door will be opened to you. (He tells them why they should pray)
  • Luke 11:11-13 Jesus tells them about what good fathers give their children and then reveals that God is a good father and will give you the Holy Spirit when you ask. (He tells them the heavenly father’s part in prayer)

All of these teachings point to an in-depth lesson on prayer. So back to the phrase that caught my eye this morning. Shameless audacity is how we are to pray. The attitude of my prayers is to be “shamelessly audacious”. One definition of audacity is “courage or confidence of a kind that other people find shocking or rude”. (dictionary.cambridge.org)

So I ask myself, when I pray, do I bring my requests to God with no shame? Do I ask him with the confidence that other people might find shocking? Picture a prince or princess approaching their loving father’s throne to ask him for something while he is in the midst of an important meeting. They do not grovel or come apologetically to him. They come confidently, yet respectfully knowing that their father loves them and will give them audience to hear their request. In contrast to that, remember when Dorothy and her friends first approach the Great Wizard of Oz to bring each of their requests? Their knees are shaking and they are hanging on each other in sheer terror. Which one do you think portrays “shameless audacity”? Of course, the prince and princess!

We, too, are prized children of the King. We can approach him with confidence. This does not mean that we can disrespectfully demand that Jesus should do whatever we want. He is not our genie in a bottle waiting to grant us our wishes. He loves us and will give us what we need when he determines that we need it. But that shouldn’t stop us from coming to him confidently.

Prayer is a strange thing. Our request doesn’t give the Lord power to do what we want. He has all the power already to do whatever he wants. But the almighty, creator of all worlds wants to partner with us to bring about his will on earth. So God invites us to pray and bring our requests to him and then according to his perfect will, he will answer our prayers. Sometimes the answer is YES. Sometimes it’s NO. Other times, it is WAIT.

God already knows what we want or what we need so why does he want us to tell him? Our prayers release God’s will into our lives. So don’t be afraid. Don’t worry that he might say NO. Come boldly with shameless audacity and bring your requests to him. Then use that same shameless audacity to trust that whatever the answer is, he knows what’s best! When we do this, we are taking up our warrior stance so that we are ready to face whatever the enemy sends our way. We know that we have a good, good Father who will fight with us to bring about his glory in our lives!

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence,

so that we may receive mercy and find grace

to help us in our time of need.”

Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

Published by Wendi Barczynski

I'm tired of the devil winning. I am here to encourage and inspire you to take steps in becoming the warrior you were created to be and seeing victory in your daily life!

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