5-6Then he said, "Imagine what would happen if you went to a friend in the middle of the night and said, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread. An old friend traveling through just showed up, and I don't have a thing on hand.'
7"The friend answers from his bed, 'Don't bother me. The door's locked; my children are all down for the night; I can't get up to give you anything.'
8"But let me tell you, even if he won't get up because he's a friend, if you stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors, he'll finally get up and get you whatever you need.
9"Here's what I'm saying:
Ask and you'll get;
Seek and you'll find;
Knock and the door will open.
10-13"Don't bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we're in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn't think of such a thing—you're at least decent to your own children. And don't you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?"
I love this passage. Jesus is basically telling us not to throw up prayers to God, hoping they'll be heard. Don't be timid with God, go ahead and wake the neighbors! God holds everything in His hands and who knows what He wants to give us, what He wants to do with our lives if we would simply ASK Him to do incredible works in us. God wants us to be direct and persistent with our prayers. God doesn't play games. After all, isn't He the one who knows all the desires of our hearts? Why don't we show Him some of that desire? Let's start praying, believing God will do the things we ask for. Let's start believing in the power of The Holy Spirit.
But remember, God doesn't say, "Ask and I'll give you exactly what you want. Seek and you'll find exactly what you were looking for. Knock and I'll open up the door you want opened." The power of prayer is not to be played with. I think it was Shane Claiborne who said, "Be careful what you pray for." That isn't to say we should be afraid of what God can do with our lives, but we'd better be ready for God's answer when it comes...