Jesus is telling the disciples a story about the value of pleading. This illustration would have been very well understood by the audience of the day, as visitors were well treated (Genesis 18:1-8 / Hebrews 13:2). To tell a visitor that you have nothing to give was like having a wedding where the wine ran out (cf. John 2:1-11).
The man was stirred in the middle of the night, and he went and stirred his neighbor, and we get stirred to pray. But that is training for life because life hits us hard when we least expect it and we have to go to God, many times on the behalf of others.
God isn’t like the man who is asleep, that is the point Jesus is making. If the man who slept would act, how much more so will God be stirred by our prayers? In order to really get to know God we have to keep seeking Him in prayer. Jesus doesn’t want us to give up (Luke 18:1-8).
Most of us haven’t actually reached the end of our rope yet. It’s not that we give up; it’s that we don’t even get up. We fail to realize that our need is greater than this man who doesn’t have what he needs to help. We don’t actually realize how vulnerable our situation really is. The truth is that we don’t get down to praying with passion until we have to have it. He becomes all we need when He’s all we’ve got. Jesus is telling us to develop this thing right now in our lives. It starts when we start listening to God tug our heart strings for someone else.
God is not like a friend who doesn’t want to get up, He is wide awake and Jesus is trying to wake us all up. You are like that friend that has nothing to give the visitor unless your friend gives you something to give. We won’t have any daily bread unless He gives it to us. Pleading prayer is the means to the manna of mercy. Are you a bold beggar or a proud prayer?