God has invited us to have an amazing relationship with Him, through prayer. It is clear from this passage that He is not necessarily going to answer all our prayers straight away and in the manner we want, but He has encouraged us to keep going. To keep badgering Him. He knows that in the constant seeking, our faith and trust will grow stronger and our relationship will deepen. Prevailing prayer does not mean that God is unwilling to give until we twist His arm and He finally gives in. It is so that He can develop and purify us. God knows exactly what we want before we ask, but He loves to draw out of us the desires He has first placed in our hearts. It is a mystery to us, but the bible makes it clear repeatedly that is how God likes to do things.
and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth. (Isaiah 62:7)
praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)
I don’t necessarily think that the list in the passage today of; asking, seeking and knocking is necessarily in ascending order of desperation. For example we’ve tried asking, so we then put a bit more effort in and seek and if all else fails we try knocking. I don’t think it matters. Jesus is encouraging us, in whatever way we seek Him, to do it tenaciously and persistently. That is the principle.
Looking at today’s word – knocking, suggests we are at a door and we are trying to get the attention of the occupant on the other side of the door. This is something that Jesus himself does, when He tries to get the attention of the church at Laodicea, who have somehow left Him on the outside!
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)
If He can do it out of love and a desire for relationship, we can certainly respond in the same way, following his example.
The tenacity required is the spirit shown by Jacob who wrestled with an angel in Genesis 32. He declared “I will not let you go unless you bless me. (Genesis 32:26)
The more we ‘press in’ the more we get to know God’s ways. We will never reach an adequate understanding of God if we only shoot up a quick prayer every now and again. Prayer is jolly hard work but very rewarding. Whatever you are asking for, keep knocking until your knuckles hurt!
I’ll finish this blog with a quote from the great evangelist and missionary, George Muller
“The great point is never to give up until the answer comes,” said Muller. “I have been praying for sixty-three years and eight months for one man’s conversion. He is not converted yet, but he will be! How can it be otherwise?”