Many bible stories have a hidden meaning that readers can uncover and think deeply about during mass or during Sunday School. Children in Sunday School learn of these stories and learn how to incorporate them into everyday life. The story known as the "Parable of the Friend at Midnight" is derived from a reading in the bible according to Luke. It teaches about the friend in need.
The "Parable of the Friend at Midnight" is located in the bible in the section according to Luke, passage 11:5-13. It questions about the friend in need who asks for something from us, and we reluctantly give it to them. We are friends in need who always need something from someone else, especially from God.
To summarize, in this story Jesus asks asks, if you go to a friend at midnight asking to borrow three loaves of bread because you have nothing to offer to your guest who came from a long journey, most likely this friend will refuse because it's late, his children are asleep and he doesn't want to be bothered at this late hour. However, if you are persistent, that friend will eventually give you as much bread as you need, despite the late hour and despite the nuisance.
The meaning of this story as summarized in the second part of the Parable is that if you keep asking, it will be given to you. "Keep seeking and you will find. Keep knocking and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds." This relates to praying. If you pray hard and consistently, eventually your prayer will be heard and will be answered. If you ask the Holy Father for something, He will give it to you. This parable is an answer when you don't know what to do with unanswered prayers. Keep on praying, be persistent and they will be heard.
When teaching this story during Sunday School for children, it is important to have the children think about it and realize how it relates to their lives. Bring up questions to get the children thinking. Have the children think of situations where someone, such as parents, siblings or friends, keeps on asking for something, and eventually they give it to them. For example, a younger sibling may want to play with her older brother's toy. The brother will say, "No" but the sister will beg and beg, and eventually, her request will be answered and she will get the toy to play with. Ask the children, what did someone ask them for and in what way? How does this relate to communicating with God and sending Him our requests and prayers? Do you receive what you ask for? What does this say about good or bad people? If someone doesn't give us something, are they bad people? For example, when we ask our parents for something and they don't give it to us, are they bad parents, or are they simply filled with the Holy Spirit and are protecting us from evil?
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Aleksandra Ozimek has been writing professionally since 2007 for a fashion blog, various online media and the "Queens Courier," in addition to interning at "Cosmopolitan" magazine. She completed her Bachelor of Science in journalism and photography from St. John's University, where she is completing her master's degree.