By Christina Lowery, Co-Lead Pastor
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” -Matthew 7:7-8
Patient persistence. That sure sounds like an oxymoron to me…yet this is how scripture teaches us to bring our cares to the Lord. When we are in need, stuck, desperate or lost – when we have come to the end of our rope – the Master urges us to “Keep asking. Keep looking. Keep knocking” at His door. He says, “Don’t stop!” He promises us that everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks will find. Everyone who knocks will have the door opened for them. Everyone who persistently asks for His ear’s attention – will be heard and answered.
The last time I checked my friends, “everyone” includes you and I. So if you are being persistent in your prayers, keep it up! Be encouraged! The answer IS on the way! He WILL give you what you need. He WILL open His door to you!
Now, here’s the question of all questions: Will His answer come to you at the precise moment that you want it? Will it even come within a day, week, or month? Or heaven forbid, will you have to wait a year…or two…or twenty? Will God send his provision, answer your questions, shut the mouths of your accusers, deliver you from hardship on your clock? See, we humans are funny creatures. We seem to know…or ‘think’ we know when the time is right – and as funny as that is, we also tend to think that the right time is “now” or really, really soon, right?
Friends, He calls us to be persistent in our prayers…yet patient. The definition of “persistence” is the quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people. So even though patience and persistence may seem like an oxymoron at first glance, they actually work together quite powerfully.
To be persistent, one must be patient. Patient when obstacles seem to arise and block you from moving forward. Patient when given the answer “no” or “wait” instead of “yes, go ahead!” Patient when reprimanded instead of promoted. Patient when it seems like everyone and everything opposes you. Patient when, despite your knocking, the door has not yet opened. Patient when the fog comes in and confuses you – and you can no longer see the path. Patient when He only gives you enough to get to the next minute, hour or day – to only take the next baby footstep ahead – and when the end result that you so desperately long for seems so. stinking. far. away.
Hebrews 6:15 says that “Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.” What does that mean for us? Well, Jesus promised that He would answer us if we keep asking, seeking and knocking. So that’s what we do. We keep on…persistently…and patiently…doing just that.
Throughout the course of this 21-day Daniel Fast, we have encouraged you to seek God for breakthrough. This week specifically, we are seeking Him for personal breakthrough. Have you journaled out what personal breakthroughs you are seeking? If not do so now and get started knocking down the doors of heaven! He WILL answer!
Questions for Reflection:
1. Have I found myself in a “holding pattern” or “waiting room” when it comes to unanswered prayers? What has been my attitude been like towards God? Patient or not? Confident that He will come through, or discouraged and anxious?
2. Is God’s priority giving me what I want or making me more like Him? If my answers don’t seem to be coming, could He possibly have more work to do in me? Take time to seek and ask God what part of character He is trying to develop in me during the waiting.
3. Have I given up on asking for something that I really want or need? Is there something that I need to start asking for again? In confidence? With patient persistence?
Further verses for study:
· Luke 18:1-8
· Psalm 27:14
· Psalm 46:10
· Psalm 37:7
· Habakkuk 2:3
· Romans 8:25