Ask, Seek, Knock | What Jesus Said In Matthew chapter 7 verse 7, the Lord Jesus Christ said ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ This is in reference to what ought men should behave before God in prayer. The Lord Jesus reinforced this admonition on prayer by using ‘qal vahomer’, a traditional argument employed by the Jews to prove a point by arguing from the lesser to greater. He said that if a child asked for bread and fish (staple food of the Jews during NT times) from an earthly father, the father would not give his child stone and serpent instead however evil that father might be. How much more our loving Father in heaven that He would not give good things to His children when they ask of Him. But why the Lord Jesus Christ used this threefold admonition ask, seek and knock to encourage us to pray? This is what I will try to decipher in this post.
‘‘Ask, and it shall be given you.’ Asking is putting faith in action. It is exercising faith in the One who can make all things possible. It is placing hope and trust in God. We are to empty our hearts to Him not because He doesn’t know what we want but because we want to express how much we believe. Not asking God for anything is a sign of lack of faith. Some people don’t ask anything from God primarily because they don’t believe in what He can do. In James 4:2 we will read “….yet you do not have because you do not ask.” Praying is one of God’s appointed means to provide for His children. I believe that there are things that will happen without praying but I also believe that there are things that won’t happen without praying. Most of the time, prayer itself is the very means of God to accomplish His appointed plan.
‘Seek, and ye shall find.’ The Lord Jesus Christ did not only encourage His hearers to ask but also to seek. What are we to seek while we ask? First, we should seek the motive of our own hearts when we pray. The Bible teaches that sometimes prayers are not answered because they come from a heart with bad intentions. James 4:3 says ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.’ Seek for the motive of your heart when you pray so that it would be free from selfish motives. Second, we should seek for God’s answers when we pray. Sometimes we are the answer to our own prayers. When we pray for God to change somebody’s attitude, sometimes it is our own hearts that need changing. When we pray for other people’s needs, sometimes we are the means of God to furnish what they need.
‘Knock and it shall be opened unto you’. Knocking denotes relationship. Robbers and beggars don’t typically knock on doors. You will not knock on the door of somebody that you don’t know either. God is our Creator and as such, we have relationship with Him as His created. Knocking signifies boldness because we are sure that the one behind the door will not reject us. We will read in Heb 4:16, ‘Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ We are actually encouraged to come before His throne of grace without the feeling of fear and rejection. Knocking also implies continuity. Don’t expect the door to open if you knock only once. The Lord teaches us that we should not stop on knocking the door of heaven. You should prove that you are not like a kid playing around knocking on doors. Pray without ceasing. If God will not give what you prayed for today, perhaps He would give it later. Continue on knocking and the door shall be opened unto you.
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