Knocking on Heaven's Door
As we point our focus towards Easter, we have been going through a series on prayer. We have noticed that Jesus’ first disciples took notice that Jesus’ prayer life was greatly linked to the work that He was able to do for God. We have seen where Jesus mentions three types of prayer in .
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
We have already looked at the first two that were mentioned: asking and seeking. Today, we are going to look at the third type of prayer that Jesus mentioned: knocking.
Some have looked at these three as just a repetition of the same thing, but if you really look at it closely, one will notice that they are actually building on one another. Asking prayers are like the elementary level of praying. As our faith builds and strengthens, we move towards seeking prayers that call for a little more faith.
The type of praying that I want to look at this morning is the type of prayers that are graduate-level prayers. These are the ones where a person comes knocking on the doors of heaven. These types of prayers call for a great deal of faith because in these prayers, you will come knocking on heaven’s door many times for the answer.
I believe that it was these types of prayers that Jesus was referring to when He gave the parable illustration in .
He also said to them: “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don’t have anything to offer him.’ Then he will answer from inside and say, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his friend’s shameless boldness, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
Descriptions of Knocking Prayers
Descriptions of Knocking Prayers
We may not always be conscious of the fact, but when we come to God in prayer it is an act of desperation. We realize that we are not in control nor do we have the resources for our need in and of ourselves. We come to God knowing that He owns it all and can provide for our needs.
As we see in this parable that Jesus shared, this man came to his friend in desperate need. Because of the intense heat of the area, many would travel at night. It would not be uncommon to have someone come visit you at night. Midnight, though, in any culture is inconvenient. The man had not prepared for his visitor.
Another key to noticing the desperation is understanding the importance of hospitality. Just because the man’s visitor came at an inconvenient time, to turn this visitor away would be a great insult. The man found himself in a desperate situation.
What do you do when you find yourself in desperate situations? To whom or what do you turn when you find yourself in a desperate situation? The answer to that question reveals where our faith and trust truly lie.
Another description of these knocking type prayers is that they are prayers of persistence. Many times, these prayers involve coming to God over and over.
When you approach a door, how many times do you knock? Typically, a person will knock 2-4 times in order to gain entry. Jesus shows us that sometimes we have to bring our request to God more than once. This is not because God is hard of hearing or forgetful, but rather it can be a time of seeing how deeply rooted is this request in our heart. If a request has not gripped our heart, usually we will mention it once and then move on. When a request is deeply rooted in our hearts, we find ourselves before God’s throne in prayer many times looking for an answer.
In this parable that Jesus shared (v 8), we see Jesus saying that this man will get his request not because of his friendship, but because of his “shameless boldness” or persistence.
We must realize that we cannot bully God into granting us what we want. We can ask for something many times and in many ways, but if it is not what is best for us and His will for us, then God will answer with an adamant “NO!”
There are times though that God wants us to see that this request is much more than we realize. He allows our heart to be gripped by the request. As we continue to knock on heaven’s door with the same request, we may not realize it but God is using these moments to mold our heart to resemble His on the matter before He grants the answer.
A final description of these types of prayers is that they are prayers offered with great expectations. The man in Jesus’ parable came to his friend knowing that his friend cared greatly and would help him out in this time of need.
What would cause a person to come to God over and over with the same request? It is the assurance that not only is God able to handle this situation, but that there is an expectation that God wants to do something about it.
Why come to God in prayer if you do not expect Him to actually do something about what you are bringing to Him?
We worship a God who is fully capable of anything we can bring to Him. More than that, our God is One that wants to do something about the situations in our lives.
Look at what Paul said in ...
Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—
Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
and also in
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Do you expect God to answer your prayers? He may take more time than you would like. He may not answer the way that you would like. But He might just be trying to build your faith and adjust your understanding for the answer that is best for you and will bring Him the most glory.
Prayer was seen as the “secret ingredient” of Jesus’ ministry by His first disciples. As we have seen over the past couple of weeks, there is not just one kind of prayer. It can be as simple as coming to God one time with your request and seeing Him answer, or it might be that He takes you on a journey for the answer. It might be that He wants to prepare you for the answer by having you come knocking over and over.
Whatever the case, God wants us to pray. It is through these types of prayer that we come to know Him more intimately. This is His ultimate desire.