Summary: We are called to pray and continually ask, seek and knock. A devotional for our monthly Cottage Prayer meeting.

Praying with Persistence

Matthew 7:7-8

Cottage Prayer Meeting Devotional

January 31, 2004

7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

A. The impact of prayer

1. The English understanding

a.) These words describing prayer are all verbs (ask, seek, knock) and they imply direct action. Thus we must understand prayer as being active rather than passive

b.) These words also have a natural progression of action from least aggressive too most aggressive. The issue Jesus is raising is one of intensity. If we pray half hearted once or twice a week we shouldn’t expect much from God

2. The deeper Greek meaning

a.) The statement that Jesus is making here is in the Greek imperative, which means that this is a command. When Jesus says this He fully expects every believer to be active in prayer. Prayer is not an option.

b.) Pastors and churches have to get uncomfortable enough to say, “We are not New Testament Christians if we don’t have a prayer life.” Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire p. 50

c.) The way Jesus says these words are also important because they are in the present tense. These are words of continuous action. In English this would read keep asking, keep seeking and keep knocking

B.The three steps to persistent prayer

1. Step one: asking

a.) Asking is to make a request of God

b.) Two realities of asking

1.) We ask something of God when we have a need

2.) We ask something of God because He can provide for all of our needs

2. Step two: seeking

a.) Seeking is asking plus action (Example: Car shopping)

b.) We seek when we need something of value to us

c.) There are times when we need to take an active role in answers to prayer

d.) Pray as if everything depends on God, then work as if everything depends on you. Martin Luther

3. Step three: knocking

a.) Knocking is asking plus action plus attitude. This implies our petition in asking, our purpose in action and our persistence in knocking

b.) We knock when we are shut out from what we need and desire entrance. We knock on the things that only God can do

c.) Two key realities

1.) When knocking we try every door until we find the right one

2.) Once we find the right door we continue knocking until we gain entrance. This is a revealing factor in how much we depend on God

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