“Ask, seek, knock.”
I only casually read that simple prayer formula Christ taught. Somehow, I never realized that it can describe three very important arenas, or levels, of prayer.
If you can’t figure out why your answers to prayer seem elusive, read on.
Randolph Byrd, University of California San Francisco Medical School, did an amazing study in 1988 of the effect of prayer. It dealt with 393 coronary care patients who had had heart attacks or severe symptoms.
Half the patients were prayed for. Neither the patients or their caregivers knew who was being prayed for and who was not.
Those who were prayed for experienced fewer deaths, less need for drugs, and not one on life support!
- This is the simplest arena of prayer. Many new Christians experience amazing answers to prayer just by simply asking! That is because they truly believe they are loved by God as a Father and that he WANTS to give them good things for their lives.
The only problem with this level of prayer is that you can get stuck here. You begin to ask God continually for things and begin to seek the “hand” of God instead of the “face” of God.
- Mysteriously, answers to your petitions seem to slow down and even drag out. These delays lead to questions and inquiries: “seeking.”
- I learned early on in my Christian life that God wants me not to just “ask” Him but to “seek" Him.
- In Scripture: I started looking up promises in Scripture that gave me grounds for continued asking.
- In devotions: I developed a daily prayer time.
- In fasting: I even learned about the power of fasting coupled with prayer to bring breakthroughs.
- Now, we come to the big one: “Knocking.” I have had things I’ve been praying about for years. It seems they are stubbornly resistant to all my “searching.” It is almost as though I cannot break through a locked gate.
- The Lord wants you to enter the realm of spiritual warfare. You KNOCK on a door, a barricaded or locked barrier. Jesus told His disciples about a man who “knocked” at his neighbor’s door for some bread at midnight. He finally roused the neighbor because of his “shameless persistence” (Luke 11).
- Satan and his forces seek to wear you down. Daniel prayed 21 days against the prince of Persia before he received his guidance from heaven. Most Christians never enter this realm. They think it is God withholding every thing from them when in reality it is Satan stealing everything from them!
Put on the “whole armor of God” (Eph. 6: 11) every day for spiritual warfare. Command demonic principalities to release your family, your finances, your health, your nation, and the unreached people groups of the earth.
The time has come for you to move beyond just “asking.” Like the movie “War Room”, set up a spiritual command post for high level spiritual warfare.
“Ask, seek, AND knock.”