Getting Answers to Our Prayers

September 17, 2018

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. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:7–11

When Jesus told us to ask, seek, and knock, He was emphasizing something that doesn’t come across in our English translation. In the original language this verse literally reads, “Keep asking … keep seeking … keep knocking.” Jesus was teaching persistence in prayer. On several occasions, Jesus told stories and parables encouraging us to pray always and not lose heart (Luke 18:1).

Pray Persistently

Praying persistently shows a genuine desire for the things we are asking of the Lord. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his studies on the Sermon on the Mount said this regarding the idea, “The most fatal thing in the Christian life is to be content with passing desires. If we really want to be men of God, if we really want to know Him and walk with Him and experience those boundless blessings which He has to offer for us, we must persist in asking Him for them day by day.” Passionate, persistent prayer indicates a deep, genuine desire, and that’s what God is looking for.

We Have To Fight

To avoid complacency, we’ve got to fight. If the devil can’t suck us back into blatant willful sin, he’s just as happy for us to be lethargic, comfortable, not living by faith, and not deeply passionate about anything of eternal value. Sure, we’ll pray and read our Bible occasionally, but we’ll probably be more interested in and distracted by relatively meaningless things.

Jesus told us to keep asking, seeking, and knocking. Unless God has specifically told you to no longer pray for something, you should keep on asking Him for those things.

Keep on Asking

I’ve talked and prayed with many people over the years who, in their battles with chronic or sometimes even terminal illness, have wondered if they should just stop praying about their condition. I always encourage them to keep on asking unless the Lord has clearly shown them otherwise. Paul the apostle told us about having sought healing from the Lord on three distinct occasions where then, finally, the Lord made clear to him that no healing was coming, but rather sufficient grace to endure the affliction (see 2 Corinthians 12:8–9). Paul had his answer, and we might possibly be given similar clear direction to no longer ask for certain things. But until we do, let’s “keep on asking, seeking, and knocking.”

Lord, how we thank You for this great invitation, this wonderful reminder of how You do not want us settling for anything less than Your best for our lives. Keep our hearts aflame and keep us in pursuit of You and the things of the Spirit.