Scripture: Matthew 7:7-12
Observation: Jesus teaches about the importance of persistence in our prayers and how Father in heaven – just like any other good father – desires to give us good gifts. He finishes by reminding us to treat others the way we wish to be treated.
Application: When I want someone’s attention, I want it now. I have the patience of a small child. SEND HELP. (Fruits of the Spirit, I’m looking at you. My patience fruit is basically a withered grape.)
Growing up, we lived in a long one-story brick rancher that made it almost impossible to hear anyone from one end of the house to the other. There would be times I’d be so frustrated that my sister didn’t hear me calling out to her that I would pick up the house phone, dial my house number, wait for it to ring, and then hope my sister would pick up the other cordless house phone. (It was the 90s, so texting didn’t exist and neither did Fitbits – hence why I was too lazy to walk twenty steps from one side of the house to the other.)
If I wanted to talk to her, I’d figure out a way. I was persistent. (And super lazy.)
Maybe I was on to something because when we see Jesus talking to the crowd about prayer, he focuses on persistence:
“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.” (v. 7)
Persistence requires great hope. In those moments we feel like our prayers go unanswered, our dreams die, and our vision for life vanquishes, we need hope that we’re heard, that our continued persistence will produce real, fulfilling answers. And thankfully, our persistence paves the way for this promise:
“For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (v. 8)
I love these words, the hope that this promise provides… yet I’ve had defeating seasons of doubt. These seasons are filled with broken assumptions – that God isn’t who he says he is, that he doesn’t really hear my prayers, that he can’t possibly change the mess I find myself in. And it’s in those seasons that I need this reminder:
“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” (v. 11)
He is our Father. And like any good Father, he’ll keep listening, answering, fulfilling – just not always in our way and on our timeline because he sees things only a Father can see. He knows this:
Our faithfulness determines our future.
When we are faithful and persistent – praying even when it doesn’t make sense, asking even when we feel like we’re not heard, hoping even when it looks like there is no reason to hope – our Father is listening… and ready to respond.
What do you need to keep praying for today? Pray with persistence.
Prayer: God, thank you for being a good Father who cares about me so deeply, who wants good things for me. I’ll continue to ask – with boldness, faithfulness, and persistence – for what I need, and trust you to respond. Amen.