There is a parable that the Lord Jesus told in Luke 18 that is actually two stories in one, let’s read about it today.
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Now, here’s another take on this in Luke 11:5-13,
5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

One Bible translation I’m reading today, the ONE NEW MAN, translates verse 9 as,
“And I say to you, you must continually ask and it will be given you, you must continually seek and you will find, you must continually knock and it will be opened to you.”
When I read in chapter 18 verse 5 in ONE NEW MAN translation, it says, “Because this widow causes me trouble I shall vindicate her, so that in the end she would not wear me out by her coming and brow-beating.” I see something disturbing to me here: this judge vindicated her, not because of his mercy, or her right standing, but more or less to just shut her up. Is that how YOU pray and deal with God? Not me!

I know there are those who fervently believe in CONTINUALLY asking, seeking, knocking. Now I certainly agree to continually seeking God, but remember that the Word tells us that God already knows what we need before we ask. That means if we are asking and asking continually and not receiving, then there must be a reason why: either the answer is no, or not yet, or it’s altogether out of the will of God. Have I ever had an unanswered prayer? Sure! Don’t we all? Do we think we are going to wear God out and make Him see it our way by our continual badgering Him?

I remember asking my mom as a child, Mom, can I have a cookie? I didn’t get a response, so I asked again, Mom, can I have a cookie? Huh? Can I? Can I have a cookie, Mom? I kept this up, thinking to be funny perhaps, but Mom wasn’t in the mood for funny that day, or badgering. I got my cookie, but I was sorry I aggravated Mom, and never used that approach again. You’re not going to wear out God by your continual coming, but wouldn’t He be more pleased with your continual coming to praise and worship Him instead?

Personally, I don’t see how God would be moved by badgering and brow-beating. I wouldn’t want to be the one finally granted my desire by a God who did it to get me off His back. I would rather ask ONCE, knowing He heard me the first time, and wait until the time is right according to HIS will.

You will notice the latter part of Luke 18:8, …. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

When He comes, will He find you in faith, believing, and receive you unto Himself?
Or will He come and bypass the continual nagging one? I know what I’d do if it were me; I’m not God, I’m only a man….. but I’d come for the man or woman of faith, who sees the promise in the Word, and takes God at His Word, settles it in their heart, and receives.

Now I’m not condemning the ones who CONTINUALLY ask, seek, and knock, but my personal experience has been from talking to them, that they’re STILL asking, STILL seeking, STILL knocking though their knuckles have long since been bloodied, and STILL haven’t received. So that leads me to this conclusion: it’s absurd to continue the same behavior that isn’t yielding the desired results. If you’re standing in front of the wall of the bank, asking them to let you in, seeking to get some of your money, and banging on the wall till your hands are bloody, I’d do something different: I’d go over to the DOOR and go on in, THEN ask for my money, and receive it.

I’ve heard it like this, if you’re a farmer who has been planting corn for so many years that you’re sick and tired of corn, wishing you had some other crop, STOP PLANTING CORN! Plant something else! It is said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” If you aren’t getting your prayers answered, don’t just keep doing the same thing, examine God’s Word and find out WHY your prayers aren’t being answered. There can be many causes: sin that you refuse to stop and repent of, unforgiveness toward others, pride, gossiping, lying, lack of faith, jealousy, disobedience, just to name a few.

God is not hard-hearted. It is HE that willingly gave us His Word that shows us how to have everlasting life, and how to live an abundant life here and now. He didn’t have to do that, you know, He could have just left us to figure it all out for ourselves. Do you know what works best for me? I look in God’s Word to find the things He said we can have, then I ask for it, and believe I receive, and worship and thank Him for it. And when it’s His right time, I receive. I never have to keep asking or knocking. However, I seek Him CONTINUALLY, not to GET something from Him, but to GIVE Him something: my best worship and love and obedience!

How I love Him, He is so good to me!! So let me remind you of the very words of Christ Jesus when He comes, shall He find FAITH on the earth, the man or woman who can ask once and believe he or she receives? It makes life a lot easier, you can cover a lot of ground by doing that. Or, you can still be asking, seeking, and knocking about whatever it was you were asking for in 1970, and still haven’t received. And it will keep you from ever moving on. It’s your choice. God is trying to make it easier for you, but people’s religion makes things hard. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Continually ask, continually seek, and continually knock, or simply believe and RECEIVE?

Jesus granted authority to the disciples over devils and sickness. They believed they received it and USED it. And they returned to Jesus rejoicing that even the devils were subject to them in His name. I don’t see in the scriptures that they went out continually asking, seeking, and knocking over and over for that authority to cast out devils, and heal the sick. They just went out and did what Jesus told them to do. It works better if we do the same; believe and receive! It’s not all about YOU. It’s about letting God use you to build His Kingdom here on earth!