Daily Devotion
Steve McQueen: American Icon

Aggressive Prayer

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.
God is not a stingy Father who only will respond to our prayers if we badger Him. When we pray, we are speaking to a Father who wants to answer our prayers, a Father whose ear is open to what we have to say. Jesus said, "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 he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened" (Matthew 7:7–8).
The Lord's language is unusually compelling in these verses, because the three verbs He uses—ask, seek, and knock—indicate an ascending intensity. To ask means to request assistance, like being in a store and looking around for someone to help you. But maybe the clerk is busy texting, so you step it up a little.
That brings us to the next word: seek. This denotes asking, but it includes action. So you say, "Excuse me. Sorry to interrupt, but I really need some help right now. Could you assist me?" But even then, you seem to be invisible.
The next and final word, knock, speaks of asking plus action plus persevering. At this point, short of making a scene, you are refusing to take no for an answer.
Sometimes you have to step it up and get aggressive in prayer. You are not insulting God when you pray according to His will. That is pleasing to God. When you are praying for something according to His will and there is an obstacle in your way, you can either give up, or you can say, "Obstacle? I am coming over that obstacle. I am not giving up on this." Keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking. That is what Jesus is teaching us.
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