Read: Genesis 20-22, Matthew 7
I have noticed that prayer meetings—though some of the most important meetings a church can hold—are often some of the least attended. Everyone will turn out for the day when they get something, but no one wants to show up when they have to give something, especially of themselves.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:7 (NIV)
Ask. Seek. Knock. These terms are not meant to indicate a single action, but a repetitive one. Keep on asking. Don’t stop looking. Continue knocking. Keep doing it until you get an answer.
In a culture of instant everything, having to wait for anything seems like a waste of time. Time is money, after all. But aren’t there things in life that are worth far more? Perhaps our relationship with Jesus? The greater the sacrifice, the greater the reward.
Take a look at Abraham. God gave him a very specific instruction.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and got to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
Genesis 22:2 (NIV)
Now, if you’re Abraham, do you simply say, “OK,” and go about that which God asked you to do? The scripture doesn’t say so, but I believe that Abraham would have been praying the entire three day journey to their destination. What father wouldn’t do everything and anything possible to avoid the loss of his only child? I am sure that his words were very similar to Jesus’ before his death.
Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.
Luke 22:42 (NIV)
How often do we pray like we really mean it? As though our very lives—or the lives of loved ones—depend on it? Is prayer a hobby or it is our business? It could be said that prayer is the family business. If we declare ourselves to be a part of the family of God, then prayer has become our business. It is our trade. It is our responsibility to hone that trade.
If you have yet to see the answer you seek, keep on seeking. Ask until you get a response. Knock, pound on the door if you have to, until it opens. Because then, and only then, will you see the rewards of your labour.
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Matthew 7:8 (NIV)