Three basic steps for effective prayer

By Dave Henning / September 14, 2021

“Dispelling the assumption that prayer simply ‘comes naturally’ for Christians, [Jesus] asserted that prayer is an intentional, learned activity for God’s children.  In [Matthew 7:7-11], the Lord was quite simply showing the disciples the three basic steps for an effective prayer: ask, seek, and knock.”- Dr. Charles F. Stanley

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”- Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)

In Chapter 5 (“Ask, Seek, and Knock”) of Can You Still Trust God?, Dr. Charles Stanley observes the following.  That many well-meaning Christians miss fantastic opportunities and blessings.  Because they take a completely passive role in their prayer lives.  As a result, the believer merely asks God for something once or twice.  Hence, the believer overlooks seeking and knocking.

Furthermore, Dr. Stanley stresses, most people overlook a vital element in prayer – steadfastness.   Also, Jesus placed this emphasis on perseverance because He often delays answering prayer requests.  Even if your prayer request aligns with God’s will.

So, Dr. Stanley asks, do you deem prayer a vital part of your daily schedule?  Prayer enables Jesus Christ to be part of your life.   However, Dr. Stanley counsels:

” . . . prayer begins to shift aside as [Christians] go about serving the Lord in their own strength and wisdom.  One of the primary reasons we do not pray is that we have busied ourselves with so many distractions that we don’t have time for the truly important things. . . .

Do you realize that one of the largest veins of gold ever discovered in America was found only three feet from where previous miners had stopped digging?  Christians often experience the same problem; just beyond where we quit, just out of reach from where we are willing to go, is God’s greatest blessing.”

Today’s question: Do you follow the three basic steps for an effective prayer life?

Tomorrow’s blog: “Downward spiral begins with our thoughts”

About the author

Dave Henning

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