276, forgiveness, prayer, sin
Jesus teaches about prayer, fasting, judging others, entering heaven through the narrow gate by doing God’s will: Matthew 6:5–18; Luke 11:1–13; Luke 6:37–42; Matthew 6:19–7:20; Luke 6:43–45; Matthew 7:21–29; Luke 6:46–49
We hear a lot about persistence in prayer: the encouragement to not give up even when there is no (apparent) answer from God. Jesus had this to say:
Luke 11:9-10 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.
He used this example to make the point:
Luke 11:5-8 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.
It was indeed God’s desire to answer prayers:
Matthew 7:9-11 You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? 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 good gifts to those who ask him.
Job knew this, in crying out to God to answer him and explain the affliction. Daniel also knew it , when an angel finally brought the answer to 21 days of prayer and mourning:
Daniel 10:12-13Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia