And He said to them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine in his journey has come to me, and I do not have anything to set before him.” And he from inside answering shall say, “Don’t make me labor! The door is already shut, and my little children are with me in bed; I cannot stand up and give thee.” I say to you, though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet because of his pleading he will stand up and give him as many as he needs.
And He spoke also a parable to them, to the end that men ought always to pray, and not be weary, saying, There was a certain judge in a certain city, who did not fear God, and had no respect for man. And there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, “Avenge me of my adversary!” And he was not willing for a time. But afterwards he said in himself, “Though I do not fear God and have no respect for man, yet since this widow belabors me, I will avenge her, lest in the end by coming, she wear me down.”
And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge says. And shall not God do vengeance for His chosen, who cry day and night to Him, and He bear with them? I say to you that He will avenge them quickly. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?
The Need for Prayer
AR 376. It is common in all Divine worship for a person first to will, desire, and pray, and for the Lord then to reply, instruct, and do. Otherwise, a person does not accept anything Divine.
A friend asking for bread (not explained in the Doctrine)
AC 7776. The signification of “midnight” is when the thick darkness is most dense, that is, when there is mere falsity; for “night” signifies a state of falsity... and the middle of it denotes the highest.
AC 6000:4. “Midnight” also denotes the last time of an old church, when there is nothing of faith because nothing of charity, and also the first time of a new church.
TCR 702. Bread means the Divine Good of the Lord’s Love, and also all the good of charity.
AC 430:2. An “infant” and a “little child” denote innocence and charity.
AC 7354. The signification of a “bed” is that which is inmost.
The judge and the widow (little explained in the Doctrine)
AC 4844:6. A father of the orphans, and a judge of the widows, is God in the habitation of His holiness (Ps. 68:5). “Widows” denote those who as adults are in truth but not yet in good, whose judge is said to be the Lord, because He leads them, and this through good into truth, that is, into the truth of intelligence; for by a “judge” is signified one who leads. Good without truth, which is the “orphan,” becomes the good of wisdom through the doctrine of truth; and truth without good, which is the “widow,” becomes the truth of intelligence through a life of good.
AC 9314. The signification of “adversaries” is the evils from which are falsities, because in the spiritual sense these evils are adversaries against the goods from which are truths.
AE 63:5. When the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8) This means that when Divine truth shall be revealed out of heaven it will not be believed. Here also, “the Son of man” is the Lord in respect to Divine truth. The coming of the Lord is the revelation of Divine truth at the end of the church.
The senses in the Word
AE 1066:3. There are in the Word four senses, one outside of the other, from the highest heaven down to the world, or one within the other from the world up to the highest heaven. These four senses are called the celestial, the spiritual, the natural from the celestial and the spiritual, and the merely natural. This last is for the world.... All four senses make one through correspondences.
Questions and Comments
- The parable of the friend asking for bread comes right after Jesus teaches us to pray. Why is it so important for us to keep on pleading with the Lord like the friend or like the widow? Notice the very last sentence, and AE 63:5.
- AC 7776, 6000: “The darkest hour is just before the dawn” is a familiar saying. States of dense darkness are when we most need to pray. What should we especially pray for? (See TCR 702, AC 430.)
- Spiritual “adversaries” are evils—evil lusts and habits—that lead us to accept falsities as truths, causing confusion and pain. We need the Lord to be the Judge, to free us from such an adversary.
- Of the four senses mentioned in AE 1066, which seems most like the Heavenly Doctrine?