As Jesus was praying in a certain place, His disciples came to Him when He had ceased and asked that He teach them to pray (Luke 11:1). Our Lord then proceeds to instruct His disciples on the verbal (vv. 2-4) and spiritual (vv. 5-13) components of prayer. In the parable of Luke 11:5-9, Jesus teaches that prayer is communicating with God because of a desperate sense of need that results in reverent importunity (KJV; literally the word means “shamelessness”) and extreme boldness.
Psalm 86 is an excellent illustration of importunity. David’s prayer begins with “Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me; for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am holy; You are my God; save Your servant who trusts in You! Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I cry to You all day long. Rejoice the soul of Your servant for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul” (vv. 1-4).
No pretense. No concern with trying to impress God or anyone else. No concern for flowery language or impressive diction. Just an intense sense of urgent desperation.
Importunity is the key that unlocks the closet of prayer.