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QUESTION: Once you bring something to the Lord in prayer, is it wrong to pray about the same thing again?

 

ANSWER: God commands Christians to “pray without ceasing” in 1Thessalonians 5:17.  That means we are commanded to live as though we are literally standing before the Lord all the time.  Daniel set aside three periods of time during the day – each and every day – for a personal audience with the King of Kings.  We know that Paul repeated the same prayer over and over until he knew the will of God in the matter.  During a prayer time of any length it is not uncommon to repeat the most pressing matters on our soul.  Far from being an affront to God, repetition is a sign of great faith and pleasure.  Let me explain.

 

The Bible teaches that our prayers are a sweet smell rising up before the throne of God.  When the daily incense offering was being offered, the Israelites themselves were to be praying (Luke 1:10). Psalm 141:2 says, “Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense.”  And in Revelation 8:3 we see that our prayers (yours and mine) are offered along with much incense upon the golden altar which is before the throne.  What a privilege we have.  God rejoices in our prayers.

 

In Matthew 7:7-8 we see a clear progression in our prayers as we approach God.  Read this portion of Scripture noting the key words “ask,” “seek,” and “knock.” “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.”

 

Sometimes we receive things by simply asking.  At other times we must seek and perhaps even knock before God gives us the desires of our heart.  Like a parent who is waiting for a child to appreciate their gift, God is waiting for us to be in a position to actually appreciate or enjoy the gift.  Seeking involves a little more work than asking, and when we “find” it, “it” will be a far more precious possession.  If that is the case we will be far less likely to forget, lose, or abuse the blessing.  Knocking demonstrates yet further faith, patience and even maturity.

 

Read the parable of the unjust judge and widow found in Luke 18:1-8.  You will see there that persistence in prayer has the promise of an answer.

 

Sometimes, however, the answer is “no,” and that’s never an easy one to accept.  Paul prayed three times that his thorn in the flesh would be taken from him (2 Corinthians 12:8) but God said no, “my grace is sufficient.”  God’s grace is always better than our desires no matter how clearly we think we see the situation or think that we know what we need.  Trust God and keep praying.

 

The one prayer God will always answer yes and will never require seeking or knocking before answering, is the believing prayer of repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He’s listening for you at this very moment!