Jesus made such a great declaration about how we should pray to God while teaching on the mount concerning various vital subjects about the kingdom of God in the 7th chapter of the book of Matthew. This passage has actually become one of the most used passages when it comes down to being strategic in our prayer life. So to sum everything up, Christ has told us to be persistent with our prayers. He has given us a threefold process that we should go through: asking, seeking, and knocking. So it all depends on the nature of what we need.
Before we move on with this teaching let’s consider what Jesus actually said.
Ask, and what you are asking for will be given to you. Look, and what you are looking for you will find. Knock, and the door you are knocking on will be opened to you. Everyone who asks receives what he asks for. Everyone who looks finds what he is looking for. Everyone who knocks has the door opened to him (Matthew 7:7-8).
With this in mind, it doesn’t mean that when we pray, we have to keep on doing that repeatedly in order for God to finally hear us. He knows every bit about what our prayers will be about before we even get to pray them. While He knows our prayers beforehand, but He cannot answer a prayer that hasn’t been prayed to Him.
Thus it’s also important to realize that there’s no where in the Word of God that guarantees us that God will always answer our prayers. The reason is that God functions on the ground of His sovereign will and perfect timing. Well, God is in fact a very patient God while we usually find ourselves in a struggle with respect to our own timing and waiting on Him.
This has to do with a tendency that we have when we need something that it should be given to us instantly. Acknowledging God’s sovereignty in every matter of life is of obvious importance as His children whom He loves dearly and whom He wants to give His very best in the right time.
The truth is that we cannot force Him to do anything outside both of His perfect will and timing. Therefore anything that He has chosen to do regardless of how fervent we’ve prayed is exactly what He sees will be best for us in the long run. Trusting God is to believe that He does care about every aspect of our lives. So as a loving and caring Father, He’ll always make the right decision on our behalf on that basis. Although we may not be able to comprehend all of that because of the urgency of the situation we’re dealing with.
The fundamental of prayer is based on asking, even though it’s not only limited to that. One marvelous thing prayer does is that it clearly underlines our weaknesses, our shortcomings, and our human inabilities to deal with life’s issues compared to God’s infinite power and greatness.
Another major aspect of prayer is based on asking God to help us deal with solving problems that we have no control over. Prayer is a time of humility and submission. Through prayer we have to go low in order for God to go high. So every time we approach the throne of God in prayer, that very act does elevate Him to a much higher level in our lives because we’re acknowledging His power to help us confront whatever issue we’re struggling with.
God wants us to move beyond just asking because He wants us to seek His face, His kingdom, and His righteousness (Psalm 27:8; Psalm 34:10; Psalm 105:4; Psalm 119:2; Proverbs 8:17; Matthew 6:33). So the clear message about that passage of Scripture is that God wants us to importune Him with our prayers. The key reason that God wants us to be persistent in prayer is because that draws us closer and closer to Him.
Our desperation helps us to realize how much we need to seek Him and to rely on Him constantly by stopping to lean on our own human understanding, effort, and will. Being persistent also motivates us to keep our lives well-organized before Him due to the fact that we cannot receive His blessings while indulging or tolerating all types of sins in our lives. Therefore, it’s a matter of positioning ourselves where He wants us to be.
Praying to God while deliberately sinning against Him is just a clear expression of our sheer dishonesty to Him. It’s indicative that we don’t really need the things we’re praying for because of our abject failure to create the right environment into our lives in order for Him to be inclined toward considering our prayers. Seeking may be the time God want to draw our own attention to a very particular issue we’ve ignored all along that He has long wanted us to deal with.
Being disobedient will either cause us to lose or to delay the blessings of God. In reality prayer isn’t that much about what we want from God, but rather on the relationship God wants us to have with Him, and how much He wants us to trust Him in the midst of whatever we’re going through. Most importantly, the primary reason we should pray is to build our intimate relationship with our heavenly Father.
In many cases, it all depends on what we need. Meaning that just asking and seeking may not be enough because we have to be willing to get ourselves out there in order for us to go and look out for opportunities. With God on our side, His favor will rest on us during that process. When praying for things that we need, anything that falls in the realm of our own responsibility must be assumed by us not by God. If you need a job, it’s important for you to pray Him and seek His guidance concerning that very job. But without your willingness to get out there and apply for it, nothing will ever happen.
When praying, we have to be totally honest with ourselves. First, relationship is based on honesty, transparency, and trust, so is our relationship with God. Prayer has a great deal to do with our motives along with the priority we want to give God in our lives concerning His perfect will for us. We must be willing to deal with anything that may hinder our prayers. We also need to be persistent in the sense of being willing to go beyond just asking. At the end of the of the day we must be willing to accept whatever outcome that transpires because only God gets to determine how a prayer will be answered.