It was “party day” in my Kindergarten class. The punch was in the refrigerator down the hall. I was asked to go retrieve it for the festivities. On the way, I suddenly got a headache and decided I needed an aspirin. The closed door was between me and the one who could provide my relief aid. I stopped. I waited. I stood. I thought.
My mother worked at the same school. I had to walk right past her room on the way to get the punch. The large door was shut in front of me. Would I pass on, do my duty, or would I take action. I had a “need”. I knew someone who could help. I must get her attention.
After much deliberation, I KNOCKED. I ASKED. I SOUGHT. Those three words got me what I needed.
In prayer, three words: ASK, SEEK, and KNOCK will get what you need as well.
Luke 11 records the story of a man at midnight who had a need. He had a friend coming to him for a visit. The man had no bread to give the traveler. He knew his neighbor had bread so he went to him. The man, with a determination to get what he needed, went to his friend and asked for bread. The neighbor-friend gave him bread not because he was a friend, but because of the shameless persistence and insistence of the one who had come to him.
Jesus used that story to explain to the disciples, and all who would hear, these three words useful to revive your prayer life. He guaranteed when you ask, it shall be given. When you seek, you shall find. When you knock, the door shall be opened.
Are your prayers being answered? Are you finding the answer when you pray? Is the way of direction and provision being opened to you?
Would you like revival in the area of your prayer life? Three words can give that to you.
– Determine what you need. What is your question? What is your request?
– Look for the answer. Go to the place the answer can be found. Hunt for the solution.
– Request entrance into the solution. Plead for the resolution. Get someone’s attention.
How specific are you when you pray? Is it possible for your prayers to not be answered because the need is not clear. The Bible says these things about asking:
- Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:8
- You do not have, because you do not ask. James 4:2
- We do not know what to pray for as we ought. Romans 8:26
John MacArthur in Alone with God, Rediscovering he Power and Passion of Prayer asks are prayers difficult for God to answer because they are vague, general, and they don’t really ask God for anything. When the man came at midnight to his friend, he came with one request. I need bread. He left with bread. The need was given when he knew what he needed, asked for it from one who could provide, and got the attention of his neighbor.
Lookin’ for love in all the wrong places is a line in a popular song. I wonder if that could describe your prayer life. Are you looking for the answer in someone or something other than God. We have so many resources now – Google, books, magazines, talk shows, podcasts, Internet. Often it is that instead of seeking the One who has the answer to every request and solution to every problem, we are Lookin’ in all the wrong places?
Are you dividing your time and adding on a few Internet searches or a friend-poll rather than narrowing the search? God doesn’t say there is harm in asking for help. Proverbs 11:14 declares, “in an abundance of counselors there is safety. ” Counselors can be effective in helping. However, don’t let counselors or resources replace the hunt for God to provide when you pray.
The man coming at midnight didn’t go to three others before arriving at his friend-neighbor asking for bread. He sought the one person who had the resource to meet his need. He kept walking until he found the answer. The man at midnight, coming to his friend, reached the point that nothing was in between him and the one who could provide the bread he needed.
The door stood between the man and his friend-neighbor. The door of darkness separated the man from his neighbor. It was midnight. It was hard to get to his neighbor’s house at night. It was inconvenient to get his neighbor out of bed to provide what was needed. The man was energized to get the bread because he had a need for it. The man intentionally, in the presence of his friend-neighbor asked for was needed with pleas, explanation, and spelling it all out.
How detailed are you in your prayers? How much of an explanation of your need do you provide to God? How thoughtful are your prayers? Are your prayers not successful because you lack passion to plead sincerely?
The great E.M. Bounds (1835 – 1913), an attorney who wrote nine books on the subject of prayer said, “The goal of prayer is the ear of God.”
When you pray, is your focus “the ear of God”? Are the words ASK, SEEK, KNOCK finding their proper place in your communion with God? Have you determined what your needs are, are you looking to the only One who has all the resources necessary to supply, and have you gotten God’s attention, His ear?
When I was in Kindergarten, I got the attention of my mother who could provide the need of an aspirin for my headache. I asked her for what I needed, and she provided.
God will do that for you. He is waiting for you to do the following:
- ASK for what you need.
- SEEK Him who has all the answers, solutions, and resources to provide.
- KNOCK until you get a response.
Put these three words today into action in your prayer life and watch your prayer life revive.