In the past year, a couple of comedians from Hollywood have referred to individuals who pray to God as being mentally ill. While children have a tendency to have make believe friends, adults who talk out loud to an invisible God seems strange. Although non-believers may refer to this sight as a sign of mental illness, this spiritual practice is an act of faith. One day Jesus’ disciples were floundering as novice prayers, asking the son of God for help, to teach them how to pray effectively.
“So I say to you, ask and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock and keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you,” Luke 11:9.
In the beginning of Luke chapter 11, Jesus gives his disciples an outline for praying known as the Lord’s Prayer or Our Father. This is similar to modern day acronyms like ACTS: adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication or PRAY: petition God, repent, adoration for God and your own needs. After receiving this basic format, perhaps one of the disciples pondered, is it really that simple? In the passage above and below Jesus responds with the attitude, desire and will necessary to develop a powerful prayer life.
For everyone who keeps on asking [persistently], receives; and he who keeps on seeking [persistently], finds; and to him who keeps on knocking [persistently], the door will be opened, Luke 11:10.
First, don’t be afraid to ask God. Since the Lord is all knowing, just verbalize any desire on your heart and thought on your mind. However, when you do pray, be diligent, eager to hear and see the power of prayer at work in your life. If any prayer is denied, in limbo or unclear, demonstrate persistence like the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8. Jesus doesn’t want passive prayers. Rather, keep on knocking, wrestling with God in prayer as you seek answers to prayer in the context of God’s will. For those who seek a deeper relationship with God, may you come to a point when you can honestly say, prayer really is this simple.
by Jay Mankus