“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
The Bible frequently uses the lives of Old Testament characters to teach and illustrate a New Testament truth. When it comes to the topic of being serious about our prayers, the prophet Elijah is given to us as an example. He was called to minister in a time of great spiritual darkness in the land. Under the wicked rule of Ahab and Jezebel, the people had turned away from God and were worshiping Baal. As a result, Elijah pronounced a judgment from God—a judgment that came in response to the prayers of the prophet.
Although we tend to think of the answers to Elijah’s prayers as being exceptional, James 5:17 emphasizes that Elijah was a man just like us—with the same struggles we face. Yet he was faithful in earnest prayer, and it made a difference. “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months” (James 5:17).
Earnest praying is like asking, seeking, and knocking—you don’t do it once and give up; you keep at it. It is not always asking once that gets the answer, but continued asking. It is not always seeking once that finds, but continued seeking. It is not always knocking once that gets the door opened, but continued knocking. Many times our prayers fail to be answered, not because we are asking for the wrong things, but because we stop praying. When our faith is not immediately rewarded with an answer, it is not time to give up on God and on our prayer, but to keep on praying until the answer comes.
Unless God clearly closes a door and leads you in a different direction, never give up on your prayers.