By Brother Michel Lankford
I know that that is a popular idea in the word of faith movement….The word of faith movement teaches that a person should pray only once and be done. From THEIR perspective it is supposedly a lack of faith to continue praying for the same thing. The problem with the word of faith approach is that this is NOT biblical at all. Scripture overtly teaches the OPPOSITE concept. From the biblical point of view, according to the teachings of Messiah, we are to pray and continue praying and not give up until we receive our petition.
As It Is Written:
““Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7–8 NASB95)
In the original languages, the verbs in this passage are present tense continuing action verbs. In other words, it literally means to, ask and CONTINUE asking, to seek and CONTINUE seeking, to knock and to CONTINUE knocking. It does NOT mean to ask once and then stop.
Messiah gave a similar teaching in Luke’s gospel account, when He gave the parable of the widow and the unjust judge, (Luke 18:1-8). According to Messiah, the entire point of the teaching was about praying and continuing to pray without giving up until we have our petition.
A Side Note of Caution:
According to Scripture, it is absolutely okay to be persistent, and to continue asking for what you want and need. Messiah praises this type of praying in the Gospels. So, it is not wrong to be persistent and to continue praying for things.
At the same time, it is necessary to strike a note of CAUTION here. We have all heard the old expression, “Be careful what you pray for, because you just might get it.” If we are persistently praying for something, and it’s just not happening for us, then it’s a good idea to start asking God to teach us why our prayers our not being answered at this time, (James 1:5-8; cf. James 4:1-4). Is what we are asking for a violation of God’s Word and Commandments? Is what we are asking for contrary to God’s Stated Purpose in Scripture? If you look at Scripture carefully, you will also notice that every blessing in Scripture comes with certain responsibilities attached, (cf. Luke 12:48). Could it be, that the reason I am not receiving the blessing that I’m requesting is because God knows that I truthfully could not handle the responsibilities that are attached with the blessing that I am requesting?
Look, we all know that it is a blessing to be able to drive a car. Nevertheless, a loving and responsible parent is not going to allow the seven-year-old little one to drive on the highway, no matter how much they might want to be allowed to do that. It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with someone driving a car. It’s a great privilege that also comes with a huge amount of responsibility. At seven-years-old, the little one could not handle the devastation which is likely to happen if they are given that responsibility so early. Sometimes God tells us no based on the same principle. He knows that at our particular stage of development, allowing us to have that blessing would turn into a curse. He knows it would harm us, so as our loving Father, He says no for the moment.
Remember, Israel insisted on having a king despite the fact that God warned them that this is not a good idea. It did not end well for them, but God allowed them to have what they insisted on having, (1 Samuel 8:1-14). If you read your Bible carefully, you will find that Israel already had YHWH Almighty as their King, but they preferred an earthly king to rule over them. This had devastating consequences because the Kings often led them astray from YHWH and brought devastating consequences on the nation.
Sometimes, the smartest thing to pray is something like this. “Heavenly Father, this is what I would like based on what I understand so far…Nevertheless, You see and understand all things far better than I do. Please bring about Your very best results in my situation, and help me to cooperate with You, so that You will be pleased to bless me, and to make me prosper in every respect.” Omein.