"And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Luke 11:9
Our Lord wants us to ask, seek and knock. When we ask, we are simply asking him for something or making a request like a child would ask a parent for a piece of bread. We should be reverent in our asking as he is our God and we are his creation. None of this "Hey God" stuff, that's for beginners. Mature Christians don't pray that way.
Then we must seek, which means to investigate. When you seek for something, you look for it or "Try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of." The Bible, or God's Holy Word, is the logical place we would seek for an answer. We don't seek for an answer in the newspapers or media although I don't think we should be completely shut out as we are living in times that may be on the brink of the tribulation period. We don't seek the books sold in the Christian bookstores as most of the books published today lack a lot of sound Biblical doctrine. The Bible tells us what God thinks and is saying.
We then must knock. That takes more effort. Continually asking is knocking as well as fasting. Just because we don't hear or get the answer the first time doesn't mean we give up. There are numerous passages in the scriptures that state otherwise. Here is just one found in Luke 18: 1-7.
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
The judge didn't fear God nor did he care anything about man but was so tired of her coming that he finally gave her what she asked. God is the same although, unlike the unjust judge, he does love us and cares for us so how much more will he answer if we ask.
We must beware lest we ask for things that are not his will. James 4:3 says, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."
Later, Jesus said the following in verse 13. "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" While the Holy Ghost had not fallen yet, it was a promise that it would and that it would be given to all who ask. This has not changed and God will fill a holy vessel with the Holy Ghost today with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as they haven't ceased yet. See I Corinthians 13:8. "Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away." If tongues shall cease, so has knowledge. Tongues are not the only manifestation of the Holy Ghost but it is proof of one receiving the baptism. "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts 2:4
Lastly, we must pray for our nation. I'm afraid we will be in very serious trouble if we head the way things are looking. It's time for the church to fast and pray either that God would show his hand of mercy on us for a little longer, or that we may endure and stand for Christ to the end.