One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Luke 11:9-10. There are here three different forms presented that have to do with prayer. It goes something like this:
” And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
Persistence, perseverance and importunity are stressed in the short breakdown of the three directives of Luke 11:9-10:
1. Ask — this first word is the action (with the idea of present time). The Greek aiteo means “ask for, demand, as in asking for petition.” The promise is Greek didomi, the common word for “give.” “Ask and it will be given to you.”
2. Seek — this second word means “result,” even though it may look like an action term. The Greek zeteo means ” ‘seek, look for’ in order to find.” The corresponding result is expressed by Greek eurisko, literally meaning “find, discover, come upon,” and can also refer figuratively to “intellectual discovery based upon reflection, observation, examination, or investigation. Seek — leave no stone unturned — and you will find (what you look for – emphasis mine).”
3. Knock — this word expresses the figure of seeking by knocking on a door until it is opened, just like Jesus’ parable of The Friend at Midnight. “Knock and the door will be opened to you.”
These three word pairs seem to show distinctions between them and appear as a good example of Hebrew synonymous parallelism. Each reinforces the other in the ways we are encouraged to think of our seeking from God — of petitions, of finding what eludes us, and of obtaining an audience. We are to pray without ceasing — shamelessly, if you will. In season and out of season, not flagging in our prayers until we receive the promise, or until God answers.
Jesus teaches a similar lesson in the Parable of the Persistent Widow (Luke 18:1-8), where the parable is told “to show [his disciples] that they should always pray and not give up.” I don’t know about you, but I need this lesson of persistent, faithful, unstopping petition until the answer is received.
- Ask with confidence and humility, but also with persistence and perseverance, stressed through pleading and petitioning.
- Seek with care and application. This involves action on our part, diligently searching and examining the scriptures and laboring to understand the will of God. He desires that we back His true work on this earth, and so we seek God’s promises for us. Then, when physically seeking a job, we have to undergo due diligence in finding where the jobs are offered
- Knock with earnestness and perseverance. Search the scriptures for God’s will that He answers the prayers of His people as a fundamental principle taught throughout the Bible (James 5:16; John 16:23). In asking God to help us in find work, we have to do our part in looking for the job and getting to the interviews to have doors opened. In other words, we actively endeavor to obtain our needs.
Thus, all of those who obey the command will receive. Not a single one will be ignored or brushed aside. b. In the parable of the “Unjust Judge” Jesus stressed persistence, but he added, “Shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him…?” Luke 18:1-8
In other words, if an unjust judge would avenge a widow (whom he doesn’t care about) because of her persistence, surely God would avenge His own elect (those whom He has called and especially cares about) because of their persistence. That God answers the prayers of His people is a fundamental principle taught throughout the Bible. James 5:16; John 16:23
“For everyone who asks receives”