Here are 3 signs God is telling you to keep asking.
1. If You Desire Something Good and You Haven’t Heard a Clear “No,” God Wants You to Keep Asking
Generally speaking, God answers all of our prayers with a yes, no, or wait. Here’s a playlist of videos where I go over how to know which one God is saying to you: Is God Saying Yes, No, or Wait?
When God makes his “no” very clear to you, it’s time to stop asking God about this desire you have. For example, if you are asking God to bring back your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, he may send you evidence that this relationship is toxic and not his will for you. But if you ignore these signs and keep asking for something God already said no to, all you are doing is getting stuck in life and limiting your ability to receive new blessing from God you don’t even know about yet.
With that said, it can be hard to know what God is saying to you. Eventually he will make his answer clear, but it often takes time. During the confusion of trying to figure out what God is truly saying, it’s best to just keep asking. Until you get a clear no, it’s biblical to keep praying about the things you desire. As Jesus taught us in Matthew 7:7-12, which states:
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 the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
If something is not good for you, God won’t give it. But if God has something good for you, he’s often waiting for you to just keep asking so he can bless your faithfulness and so he will be glorified even more when he finally delivers the gift you desire.
2. If Your Persistent Prayers Are Actually Being Used to Prepare You to Receive This Blessing, God Is Telling You to Keep Asking
One reason God does not instantly give us what we ask for in prayer is because he often uses our prayers to prepare us to receive the gift he wants to give us. In other words, prayer isn’t just a one-sided action.
We often imagine prayer as us asking for things and then God moving mountains to give us what we seek. But in the Bible, prayer is also seen as a developmental tool that changes the person who is praying. When you spend time in prayer, you should not only be asking but also listening. During your prayer time, God will often show you what you need to do to receive what you want. Biblical prayer is supposed to lead us to biblical actions steps. As James 2:17 states, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
Prayer is less about you shaping God’s actions and it’s more about God shaping your actions. Even if you don’t get a direct revelation about a specific step God wants you to take to receive this blessing, the act of being in God’s presence in prayer actually changes you and gives you power to live for him.
In Luke 21:36, Jesus said, “But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” In Matthew 26:41 he also said, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Neither of these verses promise us different circumstances if we pray. The trials will come. Rather, Jesus tells us we will be changed and empowered for the future trials that will come if we keep praying.
It’s entirely possible God is going to give you that gift you seek. But if you don’t keep praying right now, it’s also possible you won’t be prepared to rightly handle this blessing once it comes to you in the future if you don’t keep praying in the present.
3. God Tells Us to Keep Praising Him and Asking Him for Good Things Even When Our Big Prayer Request Get Answered
So far we’ve been mostly talking about persistently asking for something specific that we need one time. But throughout the Bible we are told to pray without ceasing because we are dependent upon God’s provision all the time.
It’s a mistake to have a “home run mentality” in prayer. Yes, it’s good to ask God for those specific desires for a spouse, a new job, or better housing circumstances. But when we get these individual blessings, then the temptation will be to stop praying.
We need God always, not just for the big things. As Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:7-13, which states:
And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’”
God doesn’t tell us to pray continually because he needs us to beg him with many words. Rather, God tells us to always keep praying because we are always in need of his provision every day.