"You do not have because you do not ask God." (James 4:2)
Jesus never taught His disciples how to preach, but He repeatedly taught them, by word and through His own personal example, how to pray.
In Luke 11, after giving His followers what we call The Lord's Prayer, Jesus told one of the most amazing stories about the manner in which He wants us to pray. Please don't let your familiarity with this story cause you to miss its incredible impact.
"Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence." (Luke 11:5-8 NLT)
Wow! "Shameless persistence!" Other translations render this term "shameless audacity" (NIV), "importunity" (KJV), "impudence" (ESV), or "persistence and boldness" (Amp).
Does God really want us to pray with this sort of attitude? Aren't we supposed to treat God with incredible reverence and respect?
Yes, but we are His dear children. And He is 100 percent faithful to every promise He has ever made. Friends, He wants us to trust Him and go to Him with our hearts fully expecting He will certainly answer our prayers if we pray: (1) consistent to the Word of God; (2) for His glory, not ours; and (3) prompted by the Spirit in our hearts.
If these three aspects are true for something you are praying about, DO NOT QUIT KNOCKING on heaven's door until the answer comes! He wants us to pray with this sense of expectancy.
When I talk to folks about prayer, I am often reminded of my dear son Daniel. While he is now an MD and is bringing God's blessings to many, when Dan was only about 4 years old, he had a habit of asking me difficult questions. Like . . . "Dad, how did God get started?" I would answer, "Well, Dan, God has always been." With a look on his face of total disbelief, Dan would say, "Dad, how is that possible????"
When I couldn't satisfy Daniel's insatiable curiosity, he would essentially grab my face with his two hands and say, "Dad, just tell me!!" Did that make me upset with Dan? On the contrary, it would endear me to him. He thought his dad knew everything (which, obviously, is very far from the truth!)
Sometimes, I do the same thing with my Heavenly Father (who DOES know everything and is all-powerful and all-loving as well!) When I believe He wants to do something for those I love and for His glory, I have the sense of holding His face with my hands and coming to Him with shameless audacity. As I grab His face, I see God smiling at me. And, my friend, He will do the same with you!
Will you pray with a growing group of us in greater Grand Rapids who are praying with this sort of persistence for revival and spiritual awakening in our area for His glory and the salvation of many?
“And so I tell you, 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. “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” (Luke 11:9-13)