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 couldnít 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 itís often the same way with prayer. If I faithfully prayed each day for the things He put on my heart Ė for myself and others Ė He would work wonders as a result. He assured me that I didnít have to get ten people to agree in prayer with me, and I didnít 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 friendís door at midnight to appeal to him for bread. The Master concludes the story by saying, ďBut Iíll tell you this Ė though he wonít do it as a friend, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you everything you want Ė just because of your persistence. And so it is with prayerÖĒ (Luke 11:8-9 TLB) Itís then that the Savior instructs us to ask, seek, and knock.
This kind of prayer speaks of urgency and desperation. Itís not a faint-hearted, hit-or-miss kind of prayer. Itís not for quitters or for half-hearted believers. One reason we donít see Godís 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 donít keep asking, seeking, and knocking? We donít receive, we donít find, and the door isnít opened to us. Just like my tub suffers when I neglect it, our prayer life will suffer from neglect, too. Donít 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 will pray and stand in faith for the people and things You put on my heart. Make me patient and persistent so that I wonít quit and give up before the answer comes. Thank You for all of the answered prayer that I will reap as a result!- J. M. Farro
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