“So, I tell 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; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11: 9-10
Which statement best describes your prayer life?
- I pray when things aren’t going well.
- I pray when I have a need or want.
- I pray throughout the day, as a natural part of my relationship with God.
If you answered A. or B., then there’s a good chance your prayer life is feeling a bit dull or even disappointing. Perhaps a growing list of seemingly unanswered prayers has caused you to become cynical about the very idea of prayer. So why is prayer important and what does a thriving and “expectant” prayer life look like?
Prayer should be a natural part of our daily communication with God. Just like open and honest communication is vital for maintaining and strengthening any relationship, prayer is key in building our relationship with God. And no matter whether your prayer life is thriving or on life support, we can always stand to grow in this area of communicating with our heavenly Father. So, what does Jesus have to say on the subject?
- ASK– This doesn’t mean the answer will always be yes.
As every parent knows that sometimes the best thing for a child is saying “no.” However, we can be confident that God is a good Father, even in his “no” or “not yet” responses to our prayers (Luke 11:11).
- SEEK– You won’t always find the answer instantly.
Just like a treasure hunt, there are a lot of preparations, study, analysis, and planning. You don’t immediately stumble upon the treasure. Jesus is saying that your prayer might not be answered immediately – but if we continue to seek, we will find. It’s a promise. Do you believe it?
- KNOCK– Prayer often requires persistence.
Jesus emphasizes this point in a story about a man who went to his neighbor in the middle of the night asking for bread. Due to the urgency of the situation, this man refused to stop knocking until the door was opened. In the same way, we are to present our prayers before God (Luke 11:5-13).
A thriving prayer life ultimately stems from a thriving relationship with God. When “asking, seeking, and knocking” are done in the context of an honest, consistent, and trusting relationship with God, you’ll find yourself praying bigger prayers and holding onto the hope of God’s promises – no matter the answer.