“So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."
- Luke 11: 9-10
Ask. Seek. Knock. DON’T give up!
Luke 11:9-10 comes directly after the Lord’s prayer and encourages us to pray with a
childlike confidence. In this passage Jesus says, “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
All too often when we pray, we will ask God for something once, maybe twice, and then if He doesn’t answer in our timing, we’ll give up and say, “Well, it must not be His will”. In this verse, Jesus is saying, in effect, “Keep praying! Don’t give up!”
The words used by Jesus in this verse, ask, seek, and knock, indicate an ascending intensity. When we ask, we realise our need and ask God for help. It implies being humble and honest and maybe even somewhat low-key about it.
The next word, seek, denotes asking plus action. It involves effort.
Lastly, the word knock implies asking plus action plus persevering. It’s the idea of thumping on a closed door - We aren’t taking no for an answer!
These verses teach us about the importance of persistence in prayer which as a generation, we can often get wrong. Nowadays, we live in an ‘instant society’ where waiting is not the done thing. Next day delivery, same day delivery, delivered within two hours – we, as a generation, have an expectancy for things to happen quickly. In fact, we often want thingsto happen in our timing or when it suits our routine and will often grow bored instead of taking the time to be patient and wait. How many people do you know that are willing to pray 5, 10 or 15 years for something? Probably not many, because we aren’t willing to be a generation that presses in and remains persistent when things get tough. Instead we throw our hands up and just assume that if it’s taken too long then it’s not supposed to happen.
As we read throughout the Bible, the most effective prayers are those that are prayed
persistently. In the Old Testament, we read about Hannah’s desire for a child and her
persistence in prayer over several years. She didn’t turn around and say “well, it must not be God’s will for me to have a child”. She kept praying and eventually, God gave her a son – Samuel, the mighty prophet.
Even Jesus prayed persistently. On the night before his crucifixion, He was pouring out His heart to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. We read in Matthew 26, “Father, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” He prayed this again and again. Three times He cried out to His Father – His Father heard Him and gave Him the strength and resolve to face the cross.
But notice in Luke 11 Jesus states, “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened”. Jesus doesn’t mention a time frame, but His promise does provide us with a great hope. Ask, seek and knock is not meant to be a one-time thing, it’s meant to be backed by persistence. Persistent prayer does something else as well: it keeps us connected to God so His Spirit can mould us into the image of Christ. When we pray, the Holy Spirit is able to work in our lives in ways He cannot otherwise. The more we pray, continuing to trust our problems and needs to the Lord, the more He makes us the people He intends us to be and empowers us for the challenges we face.
Do you consider yourself to be a persistent person? What hopes and dreams have you given up on because you got weary of asking?
God loves to take care of His children by answering their prayers, but it’s going to take something on your part and that is persistent praying.
So, I leave you with what Jesus is saying in Luke 11:9-10 – Ask. Seek. Knock. DON’T GIVE UP!