“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
All too often when we pray, we’ll ask God for something once, maybe twice. And then if He doesn’t answer in the affirmative, we’ll give up and say, “Well, it must not be His will.”
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Jesus told a story in Luke’s gospel to illustrate the importance of persistent prayer. A man goes to his friend’s house at midnight and asks to borrow some bread for his guest who just arrived from out of town. In those days, family members didn’t have their own rooms. They all would sleep in a single room. When everyone turned in for the night, they wanted it quiet. So when someone starts banging on the door at midnight, the man of the house doesn’t want to answer the door. Yet because of his friend’s persistent knocking, he eventually opens the door and gives his friend what he asked.
Jesus concluded by saying, “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:9–10). Jesus was saying, in effect, “Keep praying. Don’t give up.”
The words ask, seek, and knock Jesus used in the above verses indicate an ascending intensity. When we ask, we realize our need and ask God for help. It would imply being humble and maybe even somewhat low-key about it. The next word, seek, denotes asking plus action. It involves effort. Last, the word knock implies asking plus action plus persevering. It’s the idea of pounding on a closed door. We aren’t taking no for an answer.
If we will pray like this, then I believe we will see more answers in the affirmative.