"Suppose you have a friend who comes at midnight to ask for bread" (Luke 11:5, paraphrase).

Jesus tells a parable about the importance of persistence in prayer. It has been called "A Knock at Midnight' to dramatize the urgency of need in the face of resistance. The householder is in bed and does not want to get up to answer the door, but because his neighbor persists, he finally rises to respond. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr once applied this theme to the mainline Christian churches, asleep and resistant, to rouse themselves to support justice for those deprived of their civil rights. It could be applied to many other needs.

If we say it is the "eleventh hour," we mean that time is running out. So if it is midnight, failure to act is near irreversible, grace is passing us by and judgment is not far behind. 

How many urgent issues in our world are approaching the midnight hour?  It is midnight in America when religious people ignore the plight of the poor and the oppressed. What time is it? It is time to pray, throw off sleep and  do what is right while we still can. Why? Because God is at the door.