Most people just assume that it comes naturally, but Jesus had to teach His disciples how to pray. He said in Matt 7:7-11 “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. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” In these verses, Jesus gives three “steps” to prayer. It should be noted that the words Jesus used are ‘continuing action’ words so when He says:
Ask – He means keep on asking. Take everything to the Lord; nothing is too small to pray about.
Seek – He means keep on looking for answers in His word and in the happenings around you.
Knock – He means keep on knocking. Be persistent. Don’t give up if the answer seems slow.
Many people think of prayer only in terms of asking for something. They lay out their desires and then sit back and wait for something to happen. But prayer is not just asking and receiving, but includes the giving of thanks and praise to God. We should take every concern to the Lord in prayer, but we must do so remembering that He knows what is best and will answer according to His will. Our part is to keep on asking until we receive an answer, one way or the other. Remember the parable of the widow and the unjust judge in Luke 8:1-8. The Lord will sometimes delay an answer until we are ready to receive it spiritually. If we are unstable in our attitudes, if we harbor resentment and bitterness, or if we refuse to forgive others – our prayers will be hindered. (James 4:1-3) A delay in answering may also be a test of our faith – will we keep on asking, seeking, knocking? Will we continue to trust even if the answer seems to be delayed?
The Bible never says that prayer will be easy. Satan works to spread doubts, fears, and distractions of all kinds. And remember that God did not promise to give us everything we ask for, instead He promised to give us “good gifts’ and the things that we ‘need’. God loves you too much to give you something that would ultimately harm you, or pull you away from Him. If we are His children, if we have obeyed His commands and had our sins washed away in baptism (Acts 22:16), then when we go to the Father, we will receive an answer if we continue to ask, seek, and knock! Eph 4:12 “In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”
Words of the church of Christ in Cincinnati, OH
Devotional about baptism and what it really means through the words of the bible.