S (scripture): Luke 11:9 “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
O (observation): In the first verses of Luke chapter 11 Jesus is instructing his disciples on how to pray, giving the words to the “Lord’s Prayer”. But then after the Lord’s Prayer comes teaching about perseverance in prayer. Prayer is not a one and done kind of deal. It can require us to ask again and again… and again.
A (application): This is a challenging text for me because there are no qualifiers mentioned in Jesus’ instruction. Ask and it WILL be given you, search and you WILL find, knock and the door WILL be opened for you. There have been many times when I’ve prayed with people asking for healing of body or restoration of a relationship or provision in a time of need. For naught. The thing asked for was not granted. What do I make of this? I’m not sure. I could explain this as, “Well, we may not get what we ask for in this life, but surely in the next.” Or some such thing, which makes sense but strikes me as letting Jesus off the hook. This text says what it says and my reality often doesn’t line up with it, so I’m wrestling with that today.
P (prayer): Lord Jesus, your teaching on persevering in prayer is so important for us. For me. I can get lazy and, seeing no response to my prayers, simply stop praying. I’m not proud of that, but it’s true. Give me grace to pray and pray and pray some more. And help me understand what you mean by the promises contained in these verses. Amen.