Passion in Prayer

by Stephen F. Olford

Text: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7; see also verses 8-11).

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Thought: We owe it to God, to our fellow men, and to ourselves to develop lives of prayerfulness. In the passage before us, Jesus teaches three things about this passion in prayer:

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1. Intensity in Prayer: “Ask…seek…knock” (v. 7). These words occur in both the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. In each context the emphasis is on persistency and intensity in prayer. The very words, “ask,” “seek,” and “knock” suggest a progression of passion in prayer. Asking has to do with requesting in prayer (see James 4:2,3; Phil. 4:6). Seeking has to do with the art of researching in prayer. Paul speaks of this seeking of the Lord’s will in that classic passage in Romans 8:26,27. Knocking has to do with resisting in prayer. If there is a door between God and us, then it is of human or satanic origin; and this level of prayer calls us to break through such barriers to fellowship with God in prayer.

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2. Fidelity in Prayer. “Everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (v. 8). The present continuous tense is the significant emphasis of our Savior’s words. He is teaching fidelity in prayer. This should be true of our activity in prayer as well as our attitude in prayer. Our mind-set should reflect this readiness for prayer at any time, anywhere, at any cost.

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3. Expectancy in Prayer. “What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?…How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (vv. 9 & 11) Here are words which fire expectancy and faith. The Master is describing the goodness and faithfulness of God His Father. Arguing from the lesser to the greater, He shows that if mere men can fulfill their children’s request, how much more shall the heavenly Father give good things to them that ask Him. Luke’s version of the “good things” is the Holy Spirit Himself (see Luke 11:13) who enables us to pray.

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