Summary: Continuing our Sermon on Persistent Petitionary Prayer.
THE AUDACITY TO PRAY
It is because God is our Father that we can have the audacity to pray: and Jesus instructs us to “go on asking, go on seeking, go on knocking” (Luke 11:9). These are three present imperatives, with promises attached (Luke 11:10).
The letter of James informs us that ‘you have not because you ask not’ (James 4:2). On the other hand, he continues, ‘even when you do ask, you ask amiss’ (James 4:3). We are asking amiss if all we are asking for is our own stuff.
This is where we move on from asking to seeking: seek the Lord, and seek His will. It is only as we ‘delight in the LORD’ – and therefore have our wills conformed to His – that we can receive ‘the desires of our heart’ (Psalm 37:4). Our will is submitted to His will, so our desires become His desires.
If God still does not seem to answer, even when what we are asking is clearly within His will, then we must go on knocking. The Lord gives us the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), and with Him ‘all things that pertain to life and holiness’ (2 Peter 1:3). He will not withhold His hand from giving us those things which are good for us (Matthew 7:11).