The other afternoon I went for a bike ride, it was a glorious fall day and I likely peddled farther than I should have neglecting to recall that the return route was mostly up hill. As I was nearing home and facing the last hill my legs were shouting to my mind, “why do you put yourself through this! It’s not worth it! Give up!” But then I heard another voice; it was the commentators from the Tour de France, the grueling 21-day bike race that destroys riders as they seek to conquer the French Alps. “Peddle through the pain,” is the statement often repeated as they track each rider’s progress up mountains such as the Alpe d’Huez. The only way to make it to Champs-Elysees in Paris, the finish line, is “peddle through the pain.” Somehow each cyclist pounds through the agonizing pain in order to reach a break through, and then perseverance brings forth a second wind, another level mentally that enables the athlete to physically climb the steep and rugged mountains.
In Luke 11 Jesus teaches us to Pray Through the Pain! We need the “second wind,” a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The scripture prompts us to be like the man who goes to his friend’s house at midnight and pounds on the door over and over again because he is desperate for bread. Jesus’ describes this action as “boldness” or in another translation says the man is “shameless,” Luke 11:8. Jesus is teaching that if we want the “gift of the Father,” the Holy Spirit’s fresh outpouring we must continue asking, seeking, knocking, to not give up no matter pain we may be facing (vs. 9).
For years, even before I was a pastor, I felt prompted to pray for a continued move of the Spirit of God on His church. I have prayed for this in prayer groups, with family and friends, and in my prayer closet. But at times when the spiritual battle is steep, the pain too much, I have heard a voice say “give up, it will never happen, listen to the pain and find an easier path.” But in the midst of what looks like an impossibility I hear another voice, the voice of the Father saying, “Pray through the Pain for the Power of My Presence to be Poured out again!”
Again we have been bombarded by pain in our world through tragic shootings, devastating storms, political unrest, and personal battles that so many today are facing, and there is no better time to Pray Through the Pain! Jesus makes the bold declaration in this passage: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened…” (vs.9-10). I believe there is a Second Wind coming, don’t stop, be “shameless,” and keep Praying through the Pain!