3 Levels of Earnestness in Prayer – from Matthew 7:7

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Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”  This verse suggests three levels of intensity in prayer: asking, seeking, and knocking.

The first level,asking, is where prayer begins.  Anyone can ask—even a small child.  In fact, children tend to ask for things in prayer more than adults.  But God wants us all to ask, and often.  Jesus told His disciples to ask for things in prayer so that their joy would be full—that is, so that they would receive joy in seeing God answer their prayers (Jn. 16:24).  Likewise, the book of James (Ja. 4:2-3) suggests that we ask for things whenever we desire them, as long as our requests are according to His will.

A second level of earnestness is seeking.  According to Wesley Duewel, “[This level] searches to…

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Eight ways To Develop Earnest Prayer for 2022

This is an adaption of a blog I did three years ago, however the ideas are timeless. Happy New year.

Eight Ways To Develop Earnest Prayer for 2022

Ask God for it. If you prayed that your prayers would be more earnest, do you think God would grant your request? Think about it… Of course, He would! Because that kind of prayer will always be according to His will. It’s a prayer that won’t be refused.

Have a regular prayer time. Be faithful to God in your prayer times.  And most importantly, have one regular prayer time and stick with it.  The loyalty you show the Lord in your showing up at appointed times for prayer will surely pay off.  He will reward you for your loyalty by stirring up in your mind desires that burn for righteousness and for the conversion of lost souls.  He will give you His own earnest heart.

Keep a listening ear for any prayer assignments God is giving you. If you feel a burden to pray for someone, make that your responsibility.  Cling to it and cherish it.  Pray every chance you get over that burden.  You will find that as you pray more frequently for a need, your love for God and for others will grow, and so will your earnestness.

Commit yourself to evangelism and discipleship. If you pour out your heart to serve the ones you are teaching, don’t be surprised when God gives you a deep, heart-felt affection for them—so much so, that your prayers for them will burn with fervency.

Position yourself for earnest prayer. If you really want to pray with earnestness, get on your knees in readiness before the Lord. Wait on Him there, and believe that He will send fire from heaven to burn in your heart the desires of His heart.  Even if you don’t feel a burden to pray for anything in particular, or even if you don’t feel like praying at all, it is a faithful and loyal act for you to remain on your knees before the Lord—and He will surely reward your prayer efforts.

Fast. Fasting is a sure way to develop your earnestness.   By letting go of your natural desire for food, God will tune your spirit to His Spirit, and fill your soul with deep, earnest prayer.

Don’t neglect fellowship. Be involved with others in groups, and individually, always endeavoring to build friendships.  As you develop a love for others you will pray more earnestly for them.

Abide in the Word. As you treasure His words in your heart and seek to obey Him, you will grow to love Him, and He will show His love to you.  He will give you His own heart of earnestness.

Three Reasons Why We Should Pray With Earnestness?

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We could probably come up with several reasons to pray with earnestness.  Here are three that stand out to me.

First of all, we should pray with earnestness because of our great need for God.  Truth has gone out the window, sin is rampant, and the world is lost.  Where once swearing and dirty talk was forbidden on TV and radio, now it is common place and even applauded.  Where once adultery, immorality and divorce were shameful, now it is accepted as the norm, even among those who say they are Christians.  Today pornography is everywhere; you can’t go anywhere or do anything without seeing it.  Yes, we (all people) have a great need for God and for moral purity.  For this reason, prayer is needed—earnest prayer is needed!

Secondly, we should pray with earnestness because it is the way Jesus prayed and the way He would want…

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Pretending to Pray with Earnestness

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When I was young, I vividly remember sitting in church during prayer time, looking around, seeing how people were praying. I remember especially my mother, how she seemed to be very sincere, and even at times crying. I think she was the one who demonstrated to me what earnest prayer was. But I also think that many go through life just faking it, pretending to pray. Why? Because they don’t have a relationship with God. They either aren’t a real Christian, or they just haven’t developed a relationship with Him.

The following is a study I did a long time ago on what Earnestness in prayer isNOT.

 Earnestness in prayer is not prayer that is without sincerity, seriousness, and intensity; hence, it is not prayer that is phony, flippant, and indifferent.  Earnest prayer is not prayer that does not recognize prayer needs or the…

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Earnest Prayer: a study of the greek word agonizomai

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Agonizomai.  This word means to struggle, to wrestle with, to contend or compete with an adversary.  In Colossians 1:28-29 we see that Paul labored and struggled (agonizomai) with all the energy of God, which was working (energeo) in him, to admonish and teach everyone with all wisdom, with the goal to present everyone perfect in Christ.  So here, whereas some people struggle just with their own personal problems, Paul struggled and worked (with the power of God behind him) in behalf of others. 

And we can believe that, as he struggled to admonish and teach, the real struggle was with the devil (Eph. 6:10-13), and his weapon against him was prayer.  For this reason, we can say that earnestness in prayer is working and struggling in prayer (by the mighty power of God) against the forces of evil.  And we do it with the goal…

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Earnest Prayer: a study of the Greek word energeo

Prayer A to Z

Energeo.  We said earlier that earnestness, by the word ektenos, conveyed the idea of not relaxing in effort.  Well, energeo carries on that idea but goes further.  Energeo brings the idea of work being efficient, effective and productive.  In prayer our earnestness is effective for only one reason—because God is helping us.  He is the one who puts earnestness in us, and helps our prayers to be productive.  He works His power in us so that whatever effort we make in prayer, that work becomes effective—so that it will bring answers to our prayers.  But more than that, when He works in us by His mighty power—as He is putting His own earnestness into our prayers—He will bring things into our life that far exceed what we ever thought of asking for (Eph. 3:20).

Elijah was a great example of one who prayed with true earnestness—earnestness that was effective. …

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Earnest Prayer: A study of the Greek word eklenesteron

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This is my second installment of four on this study of earnest prayer—which are excerpts from my book Principles of Prayer. 

Eklenesteron.  This word has basically the same meaning as ektenos, except with this word the intensity of earnestness is greater.  The word appears in the New Testament only in Luke 22:44, where it describes the way Jesus prayed just before His trial and crucifixion:  “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly.  Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” 

Here it seems that the reason why He prayed so earnestly was because He was so grieved and distressed over the thought of His crucifixion—where he would suffer and pay a horrible penalty for the sin of the whole world.  But take note that His prayers were not weak as to feel sorry for Himself.  No, His prayers were strong.  As…

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Earnest Prayer

Prayer A to Z

The following article is an excerpt from this book.

Generally speaking, to be earnest means to be sincere and serious.  When one prays with earnestness, he prays showing deep sincerity or seriousness; thus, he is determined, fervent and intense in his prayers.  And we could say that the reason one prays with such seriousness is because he finds that the need is so great and that prayer is so important, that it is the only way to find the answer or to satisfy the need.

Now when you have a longing, a craving, and a yearning to satisfy a need, that is the desire of prayer.  It is what God puts in you.  But if you want that desire to be fulfilled you must follow up that desire by praying with earnestness.  For when you pray with earnestness, what you are doing is you are putting that desire to work…

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