Have you ever received calls from telemarketers? If you have a landline phone or a cell phone, I'm sure you have. One of the things that we can see in telemarketers is that they are persistent. If you don't answer their call today, they will call tomorrow, the next day, and the day after that. And if you do answer, and they get to talk to you for any length of time, they are persistent in trying to get you to purchase the product or service they are selling. This persistence, although we may find it quite annoying, is necessary for a telemarketer to be effective.
Like a telemarketer, we need persistence for our prayer to be effective. We must pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). When we pray, we must persevere. We must never lose heart. This is what Jesus taught in the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-7). The widow kept going before the judge for justice against her adversary. At first, she was not successful but, because she persisted, the judge finally gave her the justice she sought. Like the widow, we must be persistent. We must persist in our prayers, believing that God hears us and He will answer our prayers.
In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus taught that we should ask, seek, and knock. In some translations, this passage tells us to keep on asking, to keep on seeking, and to keep on knocking. In other words, our prayer must be persistent. We need to keep asking God for what we need, we must keep seeking His will in our prayers, and we must keep on knocking at the doors of heaven as we wait for those prayers to be answered. When we show this kind of persistence in our prayers, what is the result? Jesus tells us that if we keep on asking, we will receive, if we keep on seeking, we will find, and if we keep on knocking, the door will be opened.
Keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking. That is one of the keys to effective prayer.