In teaching His disciples about prayer, Jesus made it relevant for them.
He said, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity [boldness] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need…to him who knocks the door will be opened.”
Knocking means never, never, never giving up. It requires the same kind of persistence and repetition that Jethro, my black lab, uses to wake me up every morning.
I pretend to be asleep when he enters my room, but the sound of his 3-footed gait makes a distinctive sound as he limps down the hall, so I’m awake but playing possum by the time he arrives bedside.
He begins his persistent get-up-and-feed-me routine with a single “Woof” while sitting as close to my face as he can sit. The second “Woof” comes before I can count to ten. By the third “Woof,” Jethro has become a little impatient and puts his foot on my bed to push it for emphasis. Now, our morning routine has reached the critical point.
If I keep my eyes shut and quietly say, “Lie down,” I can buy two or three more minutes of sack time before he sits up and starts the routine all over again. But if I open my eyes when he nudges my bed, he starts a series of joyous body slams that shake my bed until I get up. Either way, his persistence wins.
Like the man in the story, I don’t get up to feed Jethro because he’s my friend or because he’s hungry. I get up to feed him because he’s not going away until I do.
Jethro’s “Woof,” nudge, body slam routine is equivalent to “Ask,” “Seek,” “Knock.” His efforts escalate until he gets what he wants.
That’s how we are to approach prayer.
If asking doesn’t generate immediate results, we must invest more time, patience, and persistence in our prayer lives, because God knows we need more face to face time with Him.
He knows we are a work in progress, and through prayer we are conformed to His will for us. So the amount of time it takes for God to conform us to His will is the amount of time it will take for Him to answer those prayers that require knocking. The more stubborn we are, the longer it takes.
So pray without ceasing and never give up. Go boldly and persistently before the throne of grace and keep on knocking until the door of opportunity opens, and you walk through it.
If it’s time to storm heavens door for a job you want, or forgiveness for something you’ve done, or salvation for a loved one, keep knocking!
“For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks the door will be opened.”
That’s a promise from the One Who keeps His promises.