If any of you need wisdom, ask God for it. He will give it to you. God gives freely to everyone. He doesen't find fault. James 1:5 (NIRV)

IMPORTUNITY vs. OPPORTUNITY – Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer


im·por·tu·ni·ty [ˌimpərˈto͞onədē, ˌimpôrˈto͞onədē]

  1. persistence, especially to the point of annoyance:

“you urged me on with untiring importunity” · “he yielded to the importunities of his advisers”

Importunity is a persistent and unrelenting force that never ceases to knock on your door. It is like a pesky fly that buzzes around your head, refusing to leave you alone. It is a nagging voice that keeps reminding you of something you’d rather forget. It is a constant reminder that you have unfinished business to attend to. It is a feeling of restlessness that keeps you up at night. It is a force that drives you to keep pushing forward, even when the odds are against you.


11 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

He said to them, “When you pray, say:

hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.[b]
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.[c]
And lead us not into temptation.[d]’”

Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[e] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”



op·por·tu·ni·ty  [ˌäpərˈto͞onədē]

  1. a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something:

“we may see increased opportunities for export” · “the collection gives students the opportunity of reading works by well-known authors”


Yes, the word “opportunity” is used in the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible.

For example, in Galatians 6:10, it is written “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” 1.

In Ephesians 5:16-18, it is written “making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” 2.

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