So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Luke 11:9, NIV)
God likes to talk with us. He wants us to know His will, and He always hears our prayer and answers it. God has commanded us to pray on all occasions. In prayer, we can communicate with God. Jesus also did all the miracles and overcame everything by praying to God. Prayer is the only way to talk to the Highest God, and it is the privilege God has given us.
“Our spirit gets healthy as we inhale God’s breath.”
Prayer is spiritual breath. Through prayer, we can inhale God’s breathing and make our souls healthy. As our body weakens when we have trouble in breathing, our spirituality declines when we pray too little. We can gain much power and follow the will of God through prayer. We can live a life of godliness, peace, and improvement through constant prayer. In this sense, the ancestors of faith never stopped praying. The prophet Samuel even mentioned that he would never sin against the Lord by failing to pray. They knew well about the power of prayer.
Figure 15. Real Value of Prayer
In Matthew 21:22, Jesus says that we will receive whatever we ask for in prayer if we believe. God will never turn it down if our prayer is accompanied by our faith and what we ask for is right. In Luke 11:9, Jesus says to us, “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.” Prayer is like the child who asks his father for what he needs. The father already knows what is necessary for him, whether he is hungry, what he needs to wear, what he should learn, and even what is bad for him. Sometimes the child gets fascinated by the looks of something, and he persistently asks his father for it without knowing it will have a bad influence on him. If the father is wise, however, he will make his child realize what it is indeed and help him look at another better option.
Our heavenly Father is like this. The Lord is much wiser than our physical father and has no end to His power. So, He knows all that is necessary for us and gives the best options. Above all, He pours out the Holy Spirit, who is most beneficial to us. While the Holy Spirit dwells in us, He leads us to the right way, helps us avoid temptations, and lets us know what to pray and what God’s will is. He also gives us wisdom and insight to help us realize what we need to choose and what we must not do. He makes our way smooth and prosperous by always warning us not to stand in evil ways. Through all this, we can keep our faith to the end, so we ultimately win our lives and gain eternal life.
Jesus says in Philippians 4:6 that we do not be anxious about anything, but present our requests to God in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving. Since God already knows what we are concerned about, we should not focus on the problem but focus on God by believing that the Almighty Lord will help us. Too many things in the world worry us, such as illness that is difficult to fix in a hospital, economic difficulties, relationships with people, our jobs, and circumstances endangering our lives; all these are like furious waves overwhelming us. However, if we continue to focus on the problem, we cannot find the ultimate solution. When we pray to God about all these matters, He gives us the faith that He will solve them with His power. He will make our thoughts clear and keep our hearts in peace. When we focus on the problem, we get more worried, but when we focus on the Lord, we can enjoy peace in hope. Prayer has the power to drive our anxieties out of our minds, to make us feel peaceful, and to inspire confidence.
James 5 strongly urges everyone in trouble to pray. Prayer is the only way to solve our all difficult matters by having the Almighty God work for us. It also says that we pray for a sick person. Especially, the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well, and God will raise him up. God hears our prayer for others, and He never refuses what we sincerely and willingly seek for them in love. The prayer is powerful and effective when the righteous pray for the sick. First John 3:21–22 says that we have confidence before God and receive anything we ask of Him when our hearts do not condemn us, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him. Since we do not ask for our greed but seek God’s will, we can be bold before God, and nothing interrupts our prayers. Righteous prayer by faith is the only way to bring out miracles from God.
In Luke 11:9, Jesus shows us the way of prayer. First, we must ask God for our needs in prayer. At this time, we should seek with faith that God is alive and He will hear and answer our prayer. Prayer with doubt disgraces the living Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all he or she does, and thus will receive nothing from God.
Second, we must find what we have sought. Find means to do a proper thing diligently in order to get what we prayed for. For example, Esther, the queen of the Persian king Xerxes, asked all the Jews for prayer and fasting for three days when her nation, Judah, was put in jeopardy by Haman’s conspiracy. After praying, Esther boldly went to King Xerxes and tried to reveal Haman’s conspiracy to him. God helped her in all those processes by using natural and wondrous ways. So, Haman’s conspiracy was revealed at the end, and he finally died in the wooden frame that he had made to kill Esther’s uncle Mordecai. It was not that Esther did nothing after she prayed. She entrusted all the results to God in her prayer and went to King Xerxes bravely, and she worked hard at what she had to do with all her wisdom and effort. If you ask but not try to find your goal, you may not get it. To the person who prays and tries to find what he or she has sought in faith, God responds and gives a good thing, as well as ultimate victory.
Finally, the door will open if we continue to knock. A person who tries once or twice and gives up cannot get the goal. We have to knock until we get it. Therefore, prayer should be accompanied by effort as well as faith. In Luke 18, Jesus tells a parable to show that we should always pray and not give up. In a certain city, there was a judge who neither believed in God nor cared about people. Then, a certain widow kept coming to him every day and pleading to grant her justice against her adversary. She did not do so according to the formalities, because she lacked the knowledge and did not know the world well. Regardless of the form of the law, she simply appealed to the judge every day. The judge refused a few times at first, but he felt bothered that the widow would come back each day and keep doing it. Then, the next time he met her again, he finally solved her matter. After showing this parable, Jesus said that God, who is merciful and righteous, will bring about justice for His chosen people who pray day and night.