One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’

He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. and lead us not into temptation.’

Then Jesus said to them ‘Supposed you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. ‘So I say to you: 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.

Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’ - Luke 11:1-13

Not only does The Lord teach His disciples The Lord's Prayer in these verses (obviously important) but in these verses He is stressing to them the importance of our role in praying. Yes, who we are praying to is THE most important, but we have an active role while praying. God waits for us to partner with Him through prayer--how exciting is that?! He wants us to take that role and participate in what He is doing, through prayer.

The challenge in these verses comes in verse 9, "ask and it will be given; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened." These verses seem simple, it sounds like we have to ask once, seek once, and knock once and BOOM! everything we are asking for happens...but let's be real--that's not how it always works. In these verses, the Lord is really saying KEEP asking, KEEP seeking, KEEP knocking until it is given, found, and opened. Now that's the hard part, but remember, every time we ask, seek, and knock, we are relying and trusting that the Lord is who He says He is and therefore will come through. Plus, let's not forget about the partnership prayer creates. We get to join into the power of God just by asking, seeking, and knocking. Seriously--that's cool.

Perseverance, friends. When something really matters to you and you go to God about it, but nothing seems to happen, our first instinct is to give up, and take matters into our own hands. I am completely guilty of that, 100%. But, the Lord tells us to push through and to be persistent and to trust that He will come through. (bc guess what, He will) It might not always look how we plan on the Lord coming through, in fact, it probably won't because the Lord is so much greater than we can even imagine-but we have to hold onto the hope and promise that God's plan is mighty and that He will answer what we ask, show us what we are seeking after, and open the door we are knocking on. He just waits on us to ask, seek, and knock.

Lord, would you give me your strength to persevere. Would you give me the grace to not give up and to really and truly hold onto your promises. Help me to always remember how good You are and how for me You are. Thank You for creating prayer as a means for me to partner with You and to grow closer to You through it. Lord have Your way with whatever is in my life. It's in Your name I pray, Amen.

- Alex Raines