“Only those who pray get their prayers answered.”
It is usual and normative for Christian believers to pray. It is also usual and normative for those same people to have answers to their requests.
Reduced to its most elementary definition prayer is simply asking. Prayer is a human asking God for something. All of the teaching about prayer, and all of the prayers in the Bible verify this foundational truth.
A S K
Jesus gave this simple teaching in Matthew chapter 7 saying:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; Seek, and you will find; Knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who Asks receives, and the one who Seeks finds, and to the one who Knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-9)
Ask, Seek, Knock, a very simple way to remember just what prayer is. He then went on to tell what the results would be for those who do this simple thing.
- Ask! Can you do that? Sure you can. And, the sure promise from Jesus is “it will be given to you…” Do you need something only God can give? If the answer is “Yes” then Ask! “Everyone who Asks receives…” The reverse is true also. We don’t have what we need because we don’t ask God for it. (James 4:2) And, we sometimes ask motivated by the wrong motives. (James 4:3) If what you ask for will honor God and bless your life, boldly Ask!
- Seek! Seek implies that are to be diligent in our praying. To seek is to go for something, to explore every avenue, to be proactive about what we need. The Bible in Hebrews 11 (the faith chapter) gives more light on seeking. “whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6b) Don’t be lazy in prayer, put forth some effort and go to God with passion for what you want.
- Knock! Prayer is knocking on God’s door! This another way of teaching us to pray. If I go over to my neighbor’s house to borrow a cup of meal I can’t just go and stand be the door, I must knock! And, if he doesn’t answer at first I must keep knocking. The difference is, God is always at home. If you knock God will open the door. Keep knocking until you have what you need.
The idea presented here can be illustrated by this example. Have you ever been inclined to give a child something, partially because they just kept asking over and over and over? I have and I think you have.
We are to ask and keep on asking, we are to seek and keep on seeking, and we are to knock and keep on knocking. If we do, God will keep on answering, we will keep on finding, and the door will keep opening.
You have tried it your way, used your reasoning and resources and remedies? Why not just make a request, and keep making your requests?
A man much more wise than I am once said “The weakness of a Christian will usually be a prayer weakness, and the weakness of a church will also usually be a prayer weakness as well”.
Need anything? Ask God.