Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7 Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. 9 “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. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
When we go to the Lord in prayer all too often we give up on the prayer when we do not see immediate answers. We assume God does not care or has not heard. We know from scriptures like Jeremiah 33:3 that God hears each word we utter in prayer, and he always answers. Yet, we give up. This story in Luke reminds us to keep asking, to keep seeking our answers through prayer. God is listening, and God is answering. When we persist in seeking Him for answers our hearts and minds are being changed and renewed.
When we persist in prayer, our boldness overcomes our insensitivity, not God’s. When we continue to knock on the doors of heaven, we are being changed, we are seeing more clearly, and we are better able to see the hand of God at work in whatever situation we are bringing to Him. We are better able to understand our sensitivity and intensity of the need we are presenting.
We are reassured in verse 10 that as when we ask, we receive, as we seek, we find, when we knock at heavens door fore answers, the door will open. It does not say we might find answers, or the door might open, the word says, they will! How often I have been guilty of letting a certain prayer go, feeling as though my prayers were not getting past my ceiling. Forgetting that God was at work even though I could not see it at the time, and often could not feel it. I forgot that the word tells me that He always hears me and He always answers. Yet, on other occasions I have continued in prayer, fervently asking for God’s help, healing, or intervention, whatever the petition was, but I desperately continued seeking and knocking, and somewhere in the process I have been changed. My prayers have often taken a turn towards what God wants, and my faith has grown and my fears have been quieted. God was hearing and God was moving. I was better able to pray effectively because God turned my heart, and mind to be in line with His perfect will and timing.
We are like a microwave, we want everything in 30 seconds or less. Having to wait for five minutes for something to cook seems too long. But the process of cooking some things takes longer, if we give up on it too soon, we get to eat uncooked cold food. Do you want that? As we grow in Christ, we see more clearly how His timing and His ways are best. When we wait on Him, things go more smoothly, often flawlessly, but when we barge ahead all too often it goes wrong or is very hard. There is a reason for everything God does or does not do. His ways are so much higher than ours and He sees what we cannot.
When I was a child and my dad was abusing me, I prayed all the time that the abuse would stop, that Jesus would do something to help me. I also prayed so hard for him to be saved. I wanted him to know Jesus and to one day go to heaven. Did the abuse stop immediately? No. Did it keep me from asking and seeking God’s help? No. I had learned through my grandmother that I was to keep knocking on heaven’s door. She assured me through her own walk and prayer life that God was listening and answering. What my prayers did, was change me. No matter what he did or how many times, somehow, (I know how 🙂 I was able to laugh and play, forgive and move on. Every time I went to my field to pray, God met with me there. No, I could not see it then, but I see it so clearly now.
When I look back at that little girl crying and talking to God, I can feel him all over me. He protected my mind and my soul, and somehow in spite of what was going on, he grew my faith. Did my dad get saved? YES, HE DID! It was years later, but God heard my prayer and through circumstances that he allowed for a season, he saved his soul. My dad has been gone a long time, thirty years to be exact, and all thirty of those have been spent with His savior, the one who saved him in spite of himself. Hallelujah! I kept knocking, I persisted in prayer, it did not matter what the circumstances looked like, I believed God was listening and answering. His answer not only included salvation for my dad but healing even in the process of pain and hurt for me. Only God can do that!
I want to urge you to trust God with your hurts, your decisions, every need you have, He is the answer! He cares, He hears, He answers, He is faithful. He will guide you through the hard places of life all the while growing your faith, molding you, and changing you to look more like him and the child of God you should be. Even when the answer is no, or wait in my case, God is hearing and answering. And there are times when it is a resounding yes, and we see instant answers. Let God’s perfect work be done in you as you continue to seek him and answers through prayer. Remember these words mighty warrior and do not grow weary in the asking.
“For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Ask, seek, knock…He is listening.