The DEEP

Seeking God's Will

by knocking on His door.

Luke 11:9–10 (NKJV)

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

We tend to think of these verses in terms of requests for favors. No doubt, it does apply to those prayers, but not only them.

When Jesus said, “seek, and you will find,” how could this not refer to seeking His will? When He said, “knock, and it will be opened to you,” what kind of door is He talking about?

The concept of doors opening also can refer to prayers that seek His will. God often answers prayers for direction by opening or closing doors.

Some of my clearest answers to prayer were “doors” closing clearly and painfully. God has said, “No,” to my heart’s desire more than once this way. What I had been hoping for had suddenly become impossible.

But the pain of disappointment was overwhelmed by the profound sense of His presence. The first time this happened, I was an agnostic—but not for long.


Not knocking on His door fits the “I never knew you” theme perfectly. You wouldn’t come into your boss’s office without knocking on the door first. So, what kind of prayer could be called “knocking on His door”?

Prayer isn’t supposed to be a one-way communication. Few people have heard God give an audible reply, but replies are anything but rare. Any conversational prayer counts, even a lamentation. If you’re screaming, “Why God, why?” and are looking for an answer, you’re knocking on the door.

So, maybe that’s a sixth kind of prayer—door-knocking. It’s different from seeking His will with something like, “Should I accept this job offer?” You just want to connect.

Imagine you had a chance to chat with the wisest, most powerful person in the world—say Solomon in ancient Israel. You’re just an ancient Israeli peasant, but through some happy circumstance, you get serious facetime with the king himself. What would you talk about? (Assume you have plenty of time to prepare and think of good topics.)

Would you pepper him with requests for favors? Let’s hope not. Remember, he doesn’t just have money; he has supernatural wisdom. Who knows what you might learn?

It’s the same, and more, with God. Just peppering Him with requests isn’t the best use of the time. Getting to talk to Him is an awesome blessing. It’s incredible that He’s interested in hearing anything I might have to say. I must be boring.

But I try not to be that boring.


The weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

The Job book is on Amazon and eligible for Amazon Prime. The Kindle edition will be out soon.

https://www.amazon.com/Higher-Purposes-Lesson-God-Job/dp/1684719534

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.