I remember one summer when I went to camp my mom bought a disposable camera for me, and said that I could use it to take pictures of my time there. I remember after coming home we took it to the local grocery store to get the film from the camera developed. I remember how I was so excited to see how the pictures turned out. The anticipation made seeing the pictures finally printed out even better. When I finally got to hold my pictures and remember that fun week at camp, it was like Christmas! Even though I had to wait to see if the pictures turned out, it was worth it because I was able to keep them as a memory of my week at camp.
Why am I telling you this story? Well, if you’re reading this you are probably well aware of the social media culture we live in, and probably actually are part of it.
Sure it is definitely awesome that I can now communicate with friends in another state or country in a matter of seconds. Instead of sending actual hand written letters that could take days to get to someone, we can just get on our computer or phone and talk with them instantly.
And it’s nice that when I need to research a certain topic all I have to do is type it into Google and hundreds to thousands of sources pop up, instead of having to go to a library and actually look through actual books to find information.
It’s even great now, that we can take a picture on our phone an instantly upload it to social media, versus when you used to have to take your film in to get it developed and wait a few days to see your pictures.
While all these things are great, it has placed in us the idea that everything we see, read, or listen to needs to happen instantly. If we have to wait too long for something to load we give up and move on because it didn’t play instantly.
This mindset has carried over into our prayer life as well. We ask God for something because we believe that He is a good God who answers prayer, but when nothing happens we wonder if He is actually up there listening to us.
It says in Matthew 7:7, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”
Something I noticed as I was reading this is that "keep" is repeated at the beginning of each sentence. When someone says to keep doing something it means that we have already done it, and need to push on and keep on doing that same thing. Keep means to remain, to doing something repeatedly, to continue, to stay, to carry on doing, and to persist.
So Jesus is reminding us that just because God doesn’t always immediately give us what we ask for, it doesn’t mean He didn’t hear us. God is more than capable to give us what we ask for as soon as we ask, and in times He does that, but there are also many times when we have to wait. We have to keep on asking, and have faith and persistence that God will answer in His perfect timing and way. And this develops in us this beautiful thing called patience because we are reminded that not everything needs to happen instantly.
Sometimes God knows that we are not ready for what we ask for, so we have to wait. Sometimes we are not asking for something with the right heart, and so God is waiting for us to change our heart.
His telling us to “keep on” is an encouragement for us to not give up when we pray for something because in the next verse Jesus gives us a promise.
“For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
So when we keep on giving our requests to God, if they are in line with His heart and will, He promises to give us what we ask for. Everyone excludes no one, so that means that this promise is available to anyone who asks, seeks, and knocks with their whole heart!
So let this be a reminder to keep on believing for that healing, to keep on believing for that friend or family member you’ve been praying for to turn their life around, to keep on believing that God will provide your financial needs, to keep on believing that God will show you His will for your life, but it just may not be right away and it may be little by little. We have to keep on asking Him and going to Him alone, and not lose heart because God will come through!