At the beginning of Luke 11 the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. They were aware John the Baptist had taught his disciples how to pray and wanted Jesus to do the same for them.
One of the things that Jesus taught, in response to this question, involved a story of a man who went to his friend’s house at midnight to borrow some bread. This was because he had a visitor and had nothing to feed him. The man kept knocking on his friend’s door until eventually he had a response.
Jesus then went onto say these words:
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (NIV)
Many other versions translate this verse similarly to that (e.g. ESV, KJV, NASB, NRSV, RSV etc). However, interestingly there are some other translations who record it slightly differently:
“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (NLT)
Some other versions (e.g. The Amplified Bible and the HCSB) also translate it in a similar way.
When looking at that verse, in the later translation, I find the phrase “keep on” very encouraging. Many Christians have probably been praying about something for several years. At times they may feel tempted to give up as their prayer has not yet been answered and they feel discouraged. This could be the salvation of a loved one, the restoring of a backsliding Christian, the release of a believer in prison for their faith in Christ or God’s justice in a situation to be manifested. Jesus is telling us here to keep asking, keep seeking and keep knocking and eventually the door will be opened.
Therefore let us not give up but keep on praying as instructed by Jesus.