Prayer begins with asking, grows into seeking and finally ends with knocking. Jesus taught us to pray and persevere in prayer, in Luke 11. After He taught the Lord’s Prayer, He shared the story of the friend at midnight who was willing to help his friend who came knocking at his door for bread. The point of the story was that even though he wouldn’t get up for his friend, he would eventually get up, because of his friend’s importunity. In other words, when it becomes: “Important to me and I will not let go until I have what I am seeking!”, then it will become important to others, even if they didn’t want to help before.
Jesus taught this because prayer will encounter opposition and what will appear to be indifference (at best) from God. It is what we must wade through, while not concerning ourselves with the “no’s”—only the answer.
Jesus taught his disciples to always pray and never give up, with the story of the widow and the unjust judge. The widow needed help from the judge over her enemies. The judge was unwilling and unmoved. Not afraid of anyone or anything, he flatly ignored her request. Daily she came, until one day the judge said to himself, “I will do what she asks because she is wearing me out.”
Jacob held onto the Angel and would not let him go until he blessed him. Even after the Angel had dislocated his hip, he wouldn’t let him go. “I will not let you go unless you bless me!” Jacob said. He was unwilling to end prayer without the blessing.
In the end of prayer we are holding our idea of an answer loosely and the Lord firmly. “Bless me!” we cry. Knowing the One we have fastened our faith on is our Lord, who is sovereign and good. “I will not let you go unless you bless me!” This is where nations are born and promises fulfilled.