Friday, October 6, 2023

Three Things…

Friday, October 6, 2023

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 he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being 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!”  Matthew 7:7-11

For many of us, we were taught to pray very early in life. We grew up listening to people praying and trying to mimic all of their words. Others feel like they can’t pray because they don’t know how. Real honest prayer is not the repeating of words like a mantra but spiritual communication with Holy God. In the passage above, Jesus gives us some simple guidelines about prayer and how we have a good father who love us and wants to give us good things. 

Three Things…

Ask implies asking for a conscious need. The word also suggests humility in asking, because it is commonly used by someone asking a superior. We ask for what we wish.  Something we desire which is beyond our own power or resource.  Too many never get past the first step in the process of effective prayer.  They ask and then “leave it there.”  While there are some requests of God we need to leave to Him, personal change involves acts of faith and real connection with God beyond asking.                                                                                                                                                        
Seek, involves asking but adds action. The idea is not merely to express a need, but to be motivated to look around for help. It involves effort. Seek Persistently. It’s not always enough just to ask, you also have to seek.  Add some works to your faith. If you’ve asked Him for a new job, seek a new job. If you’ve asked Him for reconciliation in a relationship, seek reconciliation. If you’ve asked Him for healing, seek healing. Don’t sit back and wait for an angel to do all the work. Faith without works is dead.
Knock includes asking, acting and persevering—like someone who keeps pounding on a closed door. We knock for access to some place or thing.  When we discover we are in the right place, we still need to step through the door which can be the hardest part. Knock Determinedly.  Once you see God's promise in clear view, knock and keep on knocking until the promised door is open. 
We are to keep on asking, seeking and knocking for those things that will make us more like Jesus. Perseverance is the key to God’s treasure, just as it often proves to be with earthly treasures. Persistent prayer will get an answer - in God’s time and in God’s way. Our prayers do not change God’s purpose, create His desire to give or persuade Him to give; it opens the way for Him to give.

In asking we admit our need to God, acknowledge His ability to answer and seek His direction - and surrender ours. God is our good Father, who loves and cares for us in a way we cannot fathom. His desire is to give the best, which means according to His knowledge. We do not always know what is best for us. God will give us what we ask for or something better. (He won’t give the “stone” but may not give the “bread” either.) We will not be satisfied in prayer if we only feel God answers when we get what we wanted. If we try to predict the outcome of our prayers, we take the power away from the One who truly deserves it - the only one with the power. Persistence and trust in who we know God is will bring assurance in our waiting.  Ask, Seek, Knock, and then trust.  He is your good Father who loves you and wants good things for you.  

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