I used to wonder why Jesus used so many parables to get His point across. I have a better understanding of that now, because of how many times God has used things in my own life to teach me. He taught me a wonderful lesson about prayer, using my bath tub as an illustration. At one point, I couldn't get it clean, no matter how strong a cleaner I used on it. Finally, I gave up and resorted to using a simple household cleaner, just to reassure myself that at least the tub was sanitary. I faithfully maintained that tub a little each day, and I was amazed when I realized some weeks later that the tub sparkled! God showed me that it's often the same way with prayer. If I faithfully prayed each day for the things He put on my heart--for myself and others--He would work wonders as a result. He assured me that I didn't have to get ten people to agree in prayer with me, and I didn't need to have a famous evangelist pray for me. While those things can be good, I believe that most of the time, the only way we can receive the answers to our prayers is by praying and standing in faith day after day. This is why, when Jesus was teaching on prayer in the above verses, He said we should keep on asking, seeking, and knocking.
Right before Jesus speaks these verses, He tells the parable of the persistent man who knocks on his friend's door at midnight to appeal to him for bread. The Master concludes the story by saying, "But I'll tell you this--though he won't do it as a friend, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you everything you want--just because of your persistence. And so it is with prayer…" (Luke 11:8-9 TLB) It's then that the Savior instructs us to ask, seek, and knock. This kind of prayer speaks of urgency and desperation. It's not a faint-hearted, hit-or-miss kind of prayer. It's not for quitters or for half-hearted believers. One reason we don't see God's people enjoying more answered prayer is that we have a tendency to give up before we receive the answer. By the grace of God, our prayers can bring salvation to the lost, healing to the sick, and deliverance to the oppressed. But only if we persist. What happens when we don't keep asking, seeking, and knocking? We don't receive, we don't find, and the door isn't opened to us. Just like my tub suffers when I neglect it, our prayer life will suffer from neglect, too. Don't be a quitter. Persist in prayer and receive all the blessings God has in store for you and the ones you love!
Prayer: Lord, teach me how to ask, seek, and knock the way You want me to. Increase my faith daily so that I'll pray and stand in faith for the people and things You put on my heart. Make me patient and persistent so that I won't quit and give up before the answer comes. Thank You for all the answered prayer I'll reap as a result!
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