The Bible tells us that a person came at midnight saying, “Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him” (Luke 11:5-6). Now Jesus never just throws out a random number, so there must be some significance in this. Plus, I don’t know anybody who can eat three loaves of bread in one sitting. So what exactly is He referring to here?
This is the way I see it: The first loaf of bread represents the
compassion of God the Father. The Scriptures tell us, “For God so loved
the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth
in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You and I need the compassion of God, for that is what will draw us out
of living merely for ourselves. The compassion of God is what will
cause us to move beyond saying, “Give us bread, give us deliverance,
grant us forgiveness.”
When we move beyond ourselves with the compassion of God, we will
also move into what I believe is represented by the second loaf: The
courage of the Son. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, He said,
“If it be possible, Father, take this cup from Me. Nevertheless not
what I will, but what you want for My Life” (see Mark 14:36).
You and I need that same courage in order to lay down our own will and
lay hold of God’s—living as His witnesses in this generation. We will
need supernatural strength to go out into the marketplace and stand for
Christ in the midst of a hostile generation that is resisting its own
In light of this, I thank God that there is also a third loaf: The
power of the Holy Spirit. This is the Lord’s promise to those who belong
to Him and are willing to engage in His work on earth. It is for those
who are no longer content to go into the prayer closet concerned simply
about their own needs. Rather, they are moved by the needs of this
generation. These are the people who will have power in their prayers.
Carter Conlon joined the pastoral
staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding
pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. A
strong, compassionate leader, he is a frequent speaker at the Expect
Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout