Keep Knocking

It’s easy to pray for wisdom during a test, courage for a job interview, or safety while traveling home. We’re confident that God can answer those prayers. More than that, the answer to the prayer (or the result of the situation) is coming soon. You pass the test, don’t get the job, or arrive safely at home.

However, praying for people can be different, especially people you don’t like or agree with. I’m ashamed to admit that I have thought, “Is it really worth praying for them? They’re never going to change.” Even though I may not feel like praying for someone, I have to realize that I don’t act upon my feelings. I act in obedience to God’s Word.

In Luke 11:5–8, Jesus tells a story about a man whose friend showed up at his house at midnight. The man had no food to offer the traveler, so he ran to another friend, banged on the door, and asked for three loaves of bread. The supposed “friend” answered, “Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything” (Luke 11:7 NIV).

Yikes! This guy sounds like a jerk! He’s so hard-hearted that he can’t get up, unlock his door, and give some food to a weary traveler. However, Jesus says that the man outside didn’t give up. He kept knocking, kept pleading, and finally got his three loaves of bread.

Jesus wants us to keep knocking, even when our prayers don’t seem to have an answer. Later in Luke 18, He tells His disciples to “pray and not give up.”

Like I said, I have prayed the I-don’t-think-this-will-change-anything prayer for different people. For some of those prayers, God blew me away with His incredible grace, and He transformed lives. (Oh me of little faith!)

On the other hand, there are other situations where I’m still asking God to intervene. I keep praying, trusting that God hears me and will accomplish His will. God doesn’t ask us to change people’s hearts, but He does ask us to keep knocking on His door.

Rachel Sinclair writes from Birmingham, Alabama, and loves to share people’s stories. Contact her at

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