Ask, Seek, Knock
Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:7-12, NIV)
Why do you pray? How do you pray?
In this portion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us three instructions for our prayer life: ask, seek, knock. Three actions, indicating that our prayer life with our Heavenly Father is not to be passive. It should not be something on a list that gets checked off. Prayer is an activity. It requires actions. Ask, seek, knock.
First, we are instructed to ask. This is a verbal action. We are to ask God for what we want in life. God is always there for us, but it is up to us to invite Him to be an active part of our lives. We have free will. We are free to reject God’s plan and will for our lives. If you want God in your life, you must ask Him to partake! This does not mean, however, that God will grant every request. Inviting God into your life also means surrendering to His will. His will and your will do not always align. And we do not always understand God’s will.
Once we ask God, we are to seek Him out. Where is He in our lives? How is He working? What does He want from us? When we seek out the answers to these questions, we gain a better understanding of what we should be asking Him for. If we do not continually seek Him out, we are focusing on ourselves and our wants. By not seeking Him out, we are hindering His work in our lives.
After asking and seeking, we are to knock – and keep knocking until the door opens. Jesus is telling us that we are to have an active prayer life, where we are continually seeking the Lord. Our petition may not be answered on the first request. It may not be answered on the one-hundredth or one-millionth request! Sometimes the answer to our request will be no – and we may not recognize the answer, which is why we must continue to seek after God and His will.
Remember Jesus’ final night, when He went to the garden to pray. Matthew records that He went three times to pray, each time asking the same, that His burden be lifted from Him. Jesus acknowledged that it was a want. He did not want to suffer and die. Jesus sought after God’s will, surrendering to it and asking that above all, God’s will be done. And Jesus kept knocking. He went back to prayer until His time ran out. Do you think that throughout His trial, His torture, and His crucifixion, He continued praying?
God will not grant us our every wish and desire. But He will hear every prayer, every request, and answer it! We must seek out those answers. And keep praying until we discover the answers. Throughout the days, months, and years, our prayers and requests will change, but we should always be asking, seeking, and knocking. God is waiting.
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