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What Does 2 Knocks Mean In The Bible? A Comprehensive Guide

If you have ever heard someone reference ‘two knocks’ from the Bible and wondered what that means, you’re not alone. The phrase ‘two knocks’ comes from a passage in Matthew 7 and refers to asking, seeking, and knocking on a door to receive help.

Keep reading as we explore the biblical meaning behind two knocks, examples from scripture, and what Jesus was teaching his followers about persistence in prayer and faith.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide detailed explanations of the meaning of two knocks in the Bible. We’ll start by looking at where this phrase originated, the full context of Jesus’ teaching about asking, seeking, and knocking.

Next, we’ll analyze examples of two knocks and other numbers of knocks used in biblical stories. Finally, we’ll sum up the significance of the two knocks metaphor and what we can learn from it about tenacity and dependence on God.

Origin and Meaning of the ‘Two Knocks’ Phrase

The phrase “two knocks” originates from a passage in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament of the Bible. In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus tells his followers:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

The Matthew 7 Passage

In this scripture, Jesus uses the imagery of knocking on a door as a metaphor for prayer and seeking God’s will. The passage encourages believers to diligently pursue the Lord through persistent prayer.

Just as knocking on a door elicits a response from those inside, praying to God elicits a response from Heaven.

The reference to “two knocks” likely comes from emphasizing the repetition implied in the passage’s verbs – ask, seek, and knock. Jesus seems to be saying if we knock once and don’t receive an answer, knock again. Knocking twice demonstrates the sincerity and commitment behind the request.

Ask, Seek, Knock Explained

Asking represents presenting our requests and desires to God. Seeking implies actively looking for God’s guidance and direction. Knocking indicates coming to God persistently in prayer, even when answers don’t seem immediate.

Jesus gives this teaching on prayer in response to questions from his disciples about how to align their wills with God’s. Jesus explains they need to pursue God’s heart through consistent, expectant prayer.

The Door Metaphor

The door in Jesus’ metaphor represents access to God’s blessings, guidance, and will. Jesus promises that God will “open the door” when we persistently seek him. The image conveys God’s desire to welcome us into relationship and commune with him.

Knocking on a door also conveys an attitude of humility and dependence. We knock on doors of those more powerful or able than us when we need help. Going to God’s “door” in prayer acknowledges our need for him.

Examples of Two Knocks in Biblical Stories

Jacob Wrestles with God

In Genesis 32, Jacob was left alone and wrestled with a man until daybreak. The man told Jacob to let him go as it was daybreak, but Jacob refused until the man blessed him. So the man blessed Jacob there and renamed him Israel.

Jacob then named the place Peniel (meaning “face of God”) saying “I have seen God face to face” (Genesis 32:22-32). This account shows God knocking on Jacob spiritually through the wrestling, to get his attention and transform him.

The Persistent Widow

Jesus told a parable in Luke 18 about a persistent widow who kept appealing to an unjust judge until he granted her justice. Jesus said in the parable that if even this unjust judge finally responded to her persistent appeal, how much more so will God respond to His people who persistently appeal to Him in prayer (Luke 18:1-8).

This illustrates God knocking – through the persistence in prayer, believers gain God’s attention for their request.

Saul’s Conversion

In Acts 9, Saul was on his way to Damascus to persecute followers of Christ when a light from heaven flashed around him and he heard the voice of Jesus say “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:3-4). Jesus had knocked Saul off his high horse and got his attention!

This dramatic event led to Saul’s conversion and he became the apostle Paul. This shows God spiritually knocking someone through a miraculous intervention when they are furthest from Him.

So in the Bible, God’s two knocks come through supernatural wrestling, persistent prayer, or divine intervention. The spiritual knocking intends to get people’s attention, transform them, and draw them into deeper relationship with Him.

Significance of the Two Knocks Metaphor

Importance of Persistence in Prayer

The two knocks metaphor in the Bible highlights the importance of persistence in prayer. Jesus shares a parable in Luke 11:5-10 about a man who goes to his friend’s house at midnight asking to borrow three loaves of bread.

Despite the inconvenient timing, the man persists in knocking until his friend finally gets up and gives him what he needs. This demonstrates we should persistently pray to God, even when answers do not seem forthcoming.

Just as the man knocks relentlessly on his friend’s door, we should bring our requests before God over and over in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Even if we do not see immediate results, we can have faith that God hears us and will respond in His perfect timing (Isaiah 30:18-19).

Examples throughout Scripture, like the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8, underscore why we must “always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1).

Dependence on God, Not Ourselves

The two knocks metaphor also symbolizes our dependence on God to provide for our needs, rather than relying solely on our own efforts. Just as the man knocking on his friend’s door at midnight is dependent on his friend to get up and give him bread, we are dependent on God as the ultimate provider of our needs (Philippians 4:19).

Persistent prayer demonstrates that we trust God to give us our “daily bread” (Matthew 6:11), rather than believing we can meet all our needs by our own strength. As we bring our requests before God day after day, it shifts our focus from self-reliance to reliance on Him.

We can have confidence that when we knock in prayer, God who cares for us (1 Peter 5:7) will open the door to provide all we need in His perfect will and timing.

Faith That God Hears Our Prayers

Finally, the two knocks metaphor underscores the importance of praying in faith that God hears and will respond. Jesus concludes the parable by stating plainly, “I tell you, though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need” (Luke 11:8).

We do not pray to somehow convince a reluctant God, but because we have faith that our Heavenly Father who loves us desires to meet our needs (Matthew 7:7-11).

Approaching God persistently in prayer demonstrates that we trust He hears us and will answer in His wisdom and timing. Even when we cannot yet see the answers, we can pray with expectant faith that as we continue to knock, the door will swing wide (Mark 11:24).

Our persistence proves that we believe our loving Father cares and provides for His children.


In conclusion, the phrase ‘two knocks’ has become a shorthand reference to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7 about persistence in prayer. By telling his followers to ask, seek, and knock, Jesus used the metaphor of going to a neighbor’s house and knocking until the door is opened to illustrate the importance of tenacity, dependence on God, and faith in prayer.

So next time you hear someone mention ‘two knocks’ in a biblical context, you’ll know it traces back to Matthew 7 and the lessons Jesus taught through this vivid metaphor. With persistence and reliance on God, our prayers will ultimately be answered in accordance with His perfect will and timing.

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