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Feeling Tense?

photo credit: bfick via photopin cc
photo credit: bfick via photopin cc

Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened. ~ Matthew 7:7-8 AMP

One thing I have neglected to mention about these 3 instructions is their tense. I am told by those who know (in fact this is borne out by the Amplified Bible as seen above) that these 3 words – Ask, Seek, and Knock – are in the “Keep On” form. (Sorry to use such esoteric language, but that’s just the way us scholars speak.)

Like the lady with the court case in Luke 18:1-8, or like the neighbor with the midnight visitor in Luke 11:5-9, one of the most important things Jesus is trying to impress upon His hearers is the need for persistence.

In fact if you take a peek at the parable in Luke 11 you will find the two verses we are considering almost verbatim. Jesus tells the story of the neighbor who keeps on knocking on his friends door in the middle of the night until the sleeper awakes, climbs out of the bed in which the whole family is no doubt now roused, and makes his way through the heard of goats, he no doubt keeps in his bedroom to finally give his neighbor what he needs.

Not only are these three verbs in this “Keep On” form but they are also in the “not ‘just sayin’ tense.” These are actually imperatives, commands, not suggestions. Both the actions themselves, and the persistent nature of them are given as instruction, not just guidance.

In other words, Jesus is saying, you must Ask, and you must keep on asking in order to receive, you must seek, and turn over every rock twice, in order to find, and don’t think about leaving the door until someone comes because of your knocking.

Is this how you pray?

Or do you (like me at times) say to someone “I’ll pray for you” and toss up a casual prayer, like a softball tossed in God general direction, hoping he will jog over pick it up and take care of everything.

There are even sects in Christianity that say that if you pray for something more than once it demonstrates your lack of faith. REALLY? Guess your definition of faith is a little different from that of the author and finisher of my faith, Who gives the example of the woman and the judge above culminating in the question “will I find faith on the earth.”

Is there something you have quit praying for but it is still in your heart?

Keep On – pick it back up – don’t quit.

BenThanks for stopping by today.

See you tomorrow.

Ben

0 thoughts on “Feeling Tense?

  1. festivalking

    Thanks for this! It couldn't have come at abetter time... However, I find that lately I have been persistent in my prayer about a certain thing, but I'm sometimes overwhelmed by this feeling of frustration just because my prayers aren't yet answer and tend to express it in my prayer, sometimes even taking it out on God... I feel so ashamed 🙁

    Thank you for reminding me what is truly required of my faith Mr. Benson.

    God bless you!

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      You know - David, one of God's favorites - the apple of God's eye - used to take it out on God. I was listening to a song yesterday by Misty Edwards where the lyric is Jesus saying - I knew what i was getting into when i chose you, and that is the Word of God to you today - He knew what He was getting into - and is not shocked, but is drawing you to keep on.

      Glad this caught you at the right time.

      Ben

      Reply
  2. Larry Who

    "...Is this how you pray?..."

    Mostly, I do. But there are times, when I pray only once, knowing my faith needs to hang tight to that prayer. My experience with praying is that it depends on the situation and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      WHAT - no formula? seems like I would have to depend on God to teach me to pray in any given circumstance, and i would must rather have some rules to follow.

      Such a good point Larry - thanks for sharing that aspect.

      Good word

      Ben

      Reply
  3. jaels

    Oh this is good, Ben! I'm so relieved--because I had heard that I only needed to pray once, and follow it up by repeated "thanks". My personality is such that I sometimes think I'm "nagging" God, by following what you've laid out here. Truthfully, it sounds like this: "Now, Lord, don't forget about....", or, "Lord, you haven't forgotten, have you? What we were discussing yesterday/last week?" So this is good--I'm not nagging. And I further appreciate your reassurance/reminder that, "God knew what He was getting into" with me; still, He signed on anyway--and we're still rockin' together! God bless you Big, brother--Happy Friday! sis J-C

    Reply
  4. Ben Nelson

    I have heard that too, and with Larry above, there are times i agree, but mostly i think that idea aborts much of what God would do if we persist. When faith is in your heart that a thing is done, then you can stop asking, but to say - asking again is not having faith - let me help here - pretending you have faith when you don't, by not asking again, will not fool God into action. It is such a mis used bit of theology.

    If you are drumming up actions so that you look like you have faith, then you don't, well - that's just a bad plan.

    Sorry - i am ranting - have a great weekend sis.

    Reply
  5. Debbie

    I'm so blessed by this prayer series, Mr. Ben! I was just thinking about persistence in prayer this morning and like that we can also trust Him to guide us if it is something we need to continue on in prayer about. He's just too good! God bless you!

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      That's good Deb - we can trust Him to guide us. I feel like there are folks who "hope" they are doing it right - trying hard to use the right words when they speak with God and not say some 'trigger word' that will lose the prize for them. That is so not a relational way to approach the Lover of your soul.

      Reply
  6. joseph elon lillie

    Really good stuff Ben. While some subscribe to the name it and then claim it brand of praying, I lean more towards the pray through and until. Sometimes it takes me quite a bit of praying over a thing before I even really understand what to pray.

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      I get that - i find myself asking the Lord "how should I pray" often these days. Asking him for prayer strategies when we are not seeing the results we are hoping for can be quite enlightening.

      Reply

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