Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 17 : Ask, Seek, and Knock | Day 114

Ask With Fervency!

Why is it that sometimes we pray and seek for good things, but nothing seems to happen? One answer is that we may not be praying with sufficient fervency. This is the instruction of James 5:16: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much [makes much power available].”

Elijah “was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit" (James 5:17-18).

Fervent prayer fulfills the requirement to seek God with our whole heart so we can find Him. (See Jeremiah 29:13.)

God records the fervency of Elijah's praying: [he] "cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees (I Kings 18:42). Seven times Elijah fervently prayed for rain. Daniel's fervency is also recorded for our instruction: “And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes” (Daniel 9:3). He prayed for 21 days!

A Christian couple was experiencing financial pressures and purposed to get out of debt. They began praying that God would bring a buyer for some land that they owned. After two years of praying, not one person had even called about the property. The financial pressures were becoming more intense. One day they learned about the power of crying out and fervently asked God to sell their land. Within 24 hours God brought a buyer who paid the full price they were asking!

A fervent cry is important because it represents an unconditional surrender to a holy and loving God.

It is evident from God's dealings with Israel that His number-one concern was that they would keep their focus on Him. For 40 years God trained Israel to look to Him each day for their daily bread, but as soon as they entered the Promised Land, they began looking to other gods.

For this reason, God brought about circumstances that would motivate them to turn away from other gods and cry out to Him for the deliverance that only He can give. (See Psalm 50:15.) In crying out, we must not only be fervent; we must also be patient. Remember that God heard Israel's cry for deliverance from the bondage of Egypt, and He sent them a deliverer. However, Moses came as a baby and they had to wait 80 years for him to lead them out of bondage. In the meantime, God was preparing them to fully trust Him and to be giant killers in the Land of Promise.

If we have prayed for God to solve an impossible situation and nothing has happened, let's ask ourselves if we have prayed with the fervency of total surrender and are cooperating with God during our time of waiting.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you …” (Matthew 7:7–8).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard