How Many Times must you Ask? | God’s Word Today

how many times must you ask

“Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” – John 11:41-42

How many times must you pray the same prayer and ask God to do the same thing before He hears you?  Once, twice, or day after day until you get what you are asking for?   Tough question, right?  There are times when something bothers you and you pray about it.  Nothing seems to happen so you pray again, and again.  Or, may you give up entirely, thinking you don’t know the right words; or you think, “This may work for others but not for me!”

Jesus, anticipating that this would be one of the issues of concern for us, told a story about a widow who lived in a certain town where there was a judge who cared neither for God nor for people.  Luke, the physician, records it in the passage found in our Bible in Luke 18.

Someone took advantage of this widow Jesus told us about, so she went to a judge and asked for justice.  For some time he was indifferent and refused to deal with the situation.  Day after day, the woman came back with the same request.  Finally the judge relented.  He said, “Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming!” (Luke 18:4-5).

Jesus prefaced the story saying that the disciples “…ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).  You may say, “OK, should we, like the widow, keep on knocking on heaven’s door until we get an answer?”

First, let me point out a couple of things which you need to know.  The picture of the judge who is indifferent and guilty of catering to the rich and famous isn’t a true picture of our heavenly Father, who has no respect for persons whatsoever.  Money and prestige don’t open the door to the throne room of heaven.  Furthermore, I think it can fairly be said, “God is on the side of the little widow, the insignificant person who is denied justice and fairness in life today.”

The picture of the widow who has to try–with great difficulty–to get justice out of a corrupt system isn’t really a valid illustration of how prayer works.  The New Testament says clearly that prayer is based on the relationship of a child with the father.  Make a note of Galatians 4, which tells us that we are adopted by our heavenly Father and become His children through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Now, let’s go back to that original question, “How many times must you ask God to do something before you know He has heard you?”  Let me ask you a second question, “When you were a child, how many times did you have to ask your father for something before he responded to you?”  Once you got his attention, he answered you, right?  Always gave you what you wanted, right?  No, sometimes he loved you too much to give you what you asked for.

There are times when you need to prevail in prayer, asking God to do what you feel is His will.  You sense that you have connected with heaven, but you don’t yet have the answer.  From that point on, you don’t need to keep on asking the same thing, but begin to thank Him in advance for His answer and wait patiently for Him to do what you have asked.  Jesus put it, “…your Father knows what you need before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8).  When you know He’s heard, you eventually get a clear answer.  It really happens.

Resource reading: 1 John 5:13-15

This devotional © by Harold J. Sala.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission from Guidelines International Ministries. Not for sale or profit.

Dr. Harold J. Sala

Dr. Harold J. Sala

Speaker, author and Bible teacher, Dr. Harold Sala founded Guidelines in 1963.Pioneering the five-minute commentary in Christian radio, Dr. Sala’s daily “Guidelines-A Five Minute Commentary on Living” is heard the world over in a variety of languages. Sala, who holds a Ph.D. in biblical text, has authored over 55 books published in 19 languages.He speaks and teaches frequently at conferences, seminars, and churches worldwide. Residing in Mission Viejo, California, Harold and his wife, Darlene, have three adult children (daughter Bonnie is now Guidelines president) and eight well-loved grandchildren.
Dr. Harold J. Sala

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    4 Comments

    • Thank you so much for another inspiring devotional/article. I really feel blessed. You’re right, God already knows what we need before we ask Him. And He also knows what’s best for us, always leading us the way. God bless us! Thank you Lord! 🙂

      • You are very much welcome Tet and thank you for visiting our website and we value your feedback. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Should you have any additional concerns regarding this matter, please feel free to call us at 737-0-700 or at our toll-free number, 1-800-1-888-8700 (for PLDT to PLDT calls only). If you want to chat with one of our prayer staff, you may visit us at the official website of the 700 Club Asia or follow the link, http://cbnasia.org/home/. Our prayer staff is here for you 24/7. God bless you.

    • Amparo

      I will wait patiently for you my Lord. I know you will grant the prayers of your children. You are gracious and compassionate God. Amen.

      • Yes & Amen. Have faith in the Lord always Amparo. Should you have any additional concerns regarding this matter, please feel free to call us at 737-0-700 or at our toll-free number, 1-800-1-888-8700 (for PLDT to PLDT calls only). If you want to chat with one of our prayer staff, you may visit us at the official website of the 700 Club Asia or follow the link, http://cbnasia.org/home/. Our prayer staff is here for you 24/7. God bless you always!

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