How to Ask, Seek and Knock in Prayer

Prayer is not for quitters. It doesn't work like a vending machine — put in a prayer, take out an answer.
Prayer is not for quitters. It doesn't work like a vending machine —put in a prayer, take out an answer. (Charisma archives)

Prayer is God's plan for building communion and fellowship between your heart and His.

Prayer is not for quitters. It doesn't work like a vending machine—put in a prayer, take out an answer. God has much more to accomplish through our prayers than just giving us "stuff." When we pray, He engages us in such an intimate, heart-to-heart process that we can't pray and not be changed.

"And I tell 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).

He has established prayer as the conduit through which the power of heaven changes the circumstances of earth. He designed prayer deliberately so that we are pulled into the desires of God, and our hearts are transformed until His desires become ours.

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Jesus tells His disciples to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking—three levels of prayer, each requiring perseverance. Ask with unpretentious faith, like a child asking a parent. Simple and trusting. Seek with determined faith. Seeking prayer puts us in a learning mode. We are open, alert and observant. Knock with persistent faith. Knocking implies an intention, a certainty that you want entrance to a particular door. You want to gain access to the person behind the door. No one else will do. You will knock and keep on knocking until you have met that person face to face. Knocking is the kind of prayer that seeks the face of God rather than the hand of God.

Every form of prayer takes persistence. Not because God must be worn down or won over, but because He is working out a process in us that will wean our hearts from any desire except for God Himself. We have His promise that our persistence will be rewarded.

Respond

Do you get discouraged in prayer when the answer seems long in coming? What is a truth about prayer that would help you overcome that discouragement?

Share an experience of persevering prayer and its answer that might encourage someone else today.

Adapted from Live a Praying Life by Jennifer Kennedy Dean.

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