When my brother and I were in high school we wanted to get a couple of Black and Tan hound dogs to raise and train, but we knew we must first convince our father to let us have them. I remember that night well; my father was tired and wanted to go to bed so we maneuvered in at this most vulnerable time with a double team strategy. We then popped the question on him with smiles from ear to ear, “can we have two hound dogs”? It was a quick “No” at first. Yet, it only provoked a more passionate plea of “Please, dad just two pups”? We debated back-and-forth continuing late in the night asking for his permission. We pled our case and kept pursing his approval. I remember he kept saying, “No”, we don’t need anymore barking dogs”. But even though he was tired, we kept knocking on the door of his heart until he finally said, “OK, and good night”. Looking back to those times I believe he might have regretted that decision, but in the most part it brought some memorable times together and also strengthened our relationship with him.
In Matt 7:7-12 we read Jesus’ interaction with His disciple in the context of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus exhorts them in their prayers to ask, seek and knock. In verse 8 we read, ‘For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” He had just used the illustration of the persistent lady who comes to her neighbor late at night for a loaf of bread for her unexpected guests. He then continues the thought with comparing a child asking their earthly father for a need and receiving his response, to our loving heavenly Father. And in verse 11 it says, “…how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him”!
This conversation should fuel our prayer life with power and with confidence as we bring our supplication to God. Unfortunately, many Christians as they stand before the Lord contending for the manifestations of His promises will give up or become offended because of unanswered prayers. Yet, if we interpret Jesus’ word correctly it should instead motivate us to continue fervently. I believe the key to not quitting is developed from having the right perspective of who He is and knowing his heart towards us. We see this message brought out in Matt 15:22-25 where we read the story of a Canaanite women who pursued Jesus in behalf of her daughter that the enemy had in bondage. This woman wouldn’t settle for anything but her daughter’s deliverance! She refused to take “NO” for an answer.
I am convinced this woman was drawn to Jesus by the great things she had probably heard about Him. It is also evident that she was driven by the enormity of her need with the hopes of Jesus being the answer for her daughter. But as we see in this very unusual scene, we quickly come to the conclusion that she had the opportunity to be distracted and discouraged in her pursuit of wholeness for her child. Yet, she would not be discouraged with Jesus’ silence, the contempt by His disciples and the hard doctrine that He declared. Jesus’ action and attitude revealed this women’s tenacious faith and His desire to deliver her child.
Let us learn from Jesus’ words on the mount and through this story become motivated to contend for His goodness to be manifest in the earth and our lives.
Thoughts to Ponder:
- Think back at a time when you had to really be committed in asking and pursing your parents or someone to get what you wanted and tell the feelings you had and if it made you feel uncomfortable.
- Have you ever felt put off and belittled?
- Many times Christian feel it is a lack of Faith to keep asking God about the same unanswered need. Have you ever felt that way or knew anyone that did? Is it a lack of Faith?
Quotes to Tweet:
Many Christians as they stand before the Lord contending for the manifestations of His promises will give up or become offended because of unanswered prayers – www.billvirgin.com
Contending and not Settling for anything less than God’s Best – www.billvirgin.com