#Biblical Reflection

Knock, KNOCK, KNOCK on HEAVEN’s DOOR  (Part 3)

Sep 23, 2020, 1:18 PM

Constant knocking and getting an answer should not be misunderstood as a deliberate attempt at twisting God’s arm to achieve our own ends. No! God has a heart and is sympathetic to our pleas. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) Jesus encourages us “always to pray and not to faint (lose heart). (Luke 18:1)

God is attentive to our cry. He listens to every prayer not with his ears but with His heart. David in Psalm 86 verse 3 cried; “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.”  And in verse 6 he prayed “Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.”  Insistence is the key. He knows how to soothe our aching souls; certain things He would permit for our own good.

The way we knock sometimes reveals a lot about us. It demonstrates whether we desperately want what we are asking for. James urges us to make our appeals to God without wavering; “He must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6) This is a sign of double-mindedness and of instability.

The person who prays persistently does not fall into that category. He or she remains focused and is hopeful for a change. Prophet Elijah prayed and it did not rain for three years, - not a drop of water fell from the clouds. He prayed earnestly again and the rains came. But here is what happened. From up Mount Carmel where he positioned himself, he requested his servant to go and check whether there were any clouds in the sky. “Go and look toward the sea,” he told him. He went up and looked and reported; “There is nothing there”.  His initial prayer did not bring the rain clouds.

Prophet Elijah did not relent however; he kept on praying and asked the servant to “Go back” and check whether the situation had changed.  It was after the seventh check that the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” (1st kings 19:44) Yes, persistent prayer paid off, and God’s name was glorified. Prophet Elijah knew the God whom he served and was certain the results of the prayer would be positive – reason why he sent his disciple several times for the answer to his prayer.

How much patience do we exercise with God in your prayer life? What assurance do we have that He will answer when we insist or plead with Him for His intervention? Ask in the name of Jesus - that name that is above all other names. Until the signs began to appear in the sky, Prophet Elijah did not rest his case. He prayed the hardest - seven times. Seven is the complete biblical number. God worked for six days and on the seventh, after realising how good his handiwork was, He rested. Naaman, the leper, dipped himself in the river Jordan seven times and was cured of his leprosy.

Results become our portion when we pray with insistence and sometimes with persistence. King Hezekiah was sick and at the point of death. Worse still, he had received a word from the Prophet Isaiah: “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” (2 Kings 20:1) These are harsh words for someone who was staring death in the face.

But that was not the death sentence for king Hezekiah. Oh no! He fought back. The Bible recounts that “Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord. ‘Remember, O Lord how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.’  And Hezekiah wept bitterly.” (2 Kings 20:2-3) That did it. The prophet was not yet a hundred yards away after he had completed his mission that the word of God came back to him to go and talk to the king again with this message; “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life.” (2 Kings 20:5-6)

That was a pretty close call for Hezekiah. The sincerity and insistence of his prayer appealed to God. He shed tears and prayed with all his heart to the Lord for a change of his circumstances. Though condemned to death, he did not see his fate as definitive. That was his last ditch effort for survival and he summoned all his strength, faith and resolve and prayed. He did not only receive healing; another fifteen years were added to his existence – a bonus.

Is death the final arbiter or is it our resolve to live? Will we let the evil one put obstacles in our way and then blame it on God? Have we been taking everything lying down and saying it is God’s will? It is God’s will to bless us and to make us prosper. Test God’s will and see what prospects there are for you.  “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you an unexpected end.” (Jeremiah 29;11)

No situation is permanent. Circumstances change. So except you are happy with the status quo, call upon the Lord for a wave of His hand in your situation. Feed your soul on the food God has prepared for you which is his Word. Get on your knees and pray. Talk to the Lord as you would your father. He will gladly listen. He will come and save you.

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