One day the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. He gave them what we call “The Lord’s Prayer.” He also gave them a teaching on persistent prayer. Part of that is a verse most of us have memorized. I like the way the Holman Christian Standard translates it.
“So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” [Luke 11:9-10 HCSB]
Whenever I read that exhortation to be persistent in our prayers, it takes me back to Moses in Exodus 33. The previous chapter in Exodus relates how the people had engaged in idolatry using a golden calf. That angered God who then invited Moses to intercede for them. Which, he did, of course. However, God told Moses to take the people to the Promised Land, and while He would provide an angel to lead them, He would not go with them.
Chapter 33 is Moses’ persistent prayer. He asks, he seeks, and he knocks. And each time Moses does, God responds.
Moses Asks: “Now if I have indeed found favor in Your sight, please teach me Your ways, and I will know You and find favor in Your sight. Now consider that this nation is Your people.” God Responds: “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Moses Seeks: “If Your presence does not go don’t make us go up from here. How will it be known that I and Your people have found favor in Your sight unless You go with us?” God Responds: “I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name.”
Moses Knocks: “Please, let me see Your glory.” God Responds: “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name Yahweh before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
Persistent Prayer. Amen