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Ask, Seek, Knock without Ceasing

March 07, 2020
By Martin Luther

God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her.

GENESIS 30:22

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Ask, Seek, Knock without Ceasing

This is how we, too, should learn to ask and hope for help whenever there is misfortune and faith totters. For we have the promise of the Gospel; we have Baptism, absolution, etc., by which we have been instructed and strengthened. We have the command by which we are ordered to pray; we have the spirit of grace and of prayer. But as soon as we have begun to pray, our heart is troubled and complains that it is accomplishing nothing. Therefore one must learn that if you accomplish nothing by asking, you should add searching, that is, you should seek; if that, too, seems to be useless, and God conceals and hides Himself even more, add knocking, and do not cease until you storm the door by which He has been confined (cf. Matthew 7:7-8). For there is no doubt that our prayer is heard immediately after the first syllable has been uttered. . .. But the fact that God does not immediately give what we pray for—this happens because He wants to be sought and to be taken by storm by insisting beyond measure, as the parable of the unrighteous judge teaches in Luke 18:2 [-8]. For then He comes and liberates the elect and gives more abundantly than we have prayed, sought, and knocked. But He defers in order that our praying may increase and that our sobbing may become stronger.

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