Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8, NKJV)
\We see a progressive intensity, going from ask to seek to knock. Jesus told us to have intensity, passion, and persistence in prayer. The fact that Jesus came back to the subject of prayer – already dealt with in some depth in Matthew 6:5-15; shows the importance of prayer.
In this three-fold description of prayer as asking, seeking, and knocking we see different aspects of prayer and different aspects of its reward:
- Prayer is like asking in that we simply make our requests known to God and everyone who asks receives. Receiving is the reward of asking.
- Praying is like seeking in that we search after God, His word, and His will; and he who seeks finds. Finding is the reward of seeking.
- Prayer is like knocking until the door is opened, and we seek entrance into the great heavenly palace of our Great King. Entering through the opened door into His palace is the reward of knocking, and the best reward of all.
“Ask with confidence and humility. Seek with care and application. Knock with earnestness and perseverance.” – Adam Clarke
The idea of knocking also implies that we sense resistance. After all, if the door were already open, there would be no need to knock. Yet Jesus encouraged us, “Even when you sense that the door is closed and you must knock, then do so and continue to do so, and you will be answered.”
Yet the image of knocking also implies that there is a door that can be opened.
“His doors are meant to open: they were made on purpose for entrance, and so the blessed gospel of God is made on purpose for you to enter into life and peace. It would be of no use to knock at a wall, but you may wisely knock at a door, for it is arranged for opening.” – Charles Spurgeon
We come to God’s door and all we must do is knock. If it were locked against us we would need a burglar’s tools to break in, but that isn’t necessary; all we must do is knock, and even if I don’t have a burglar’s skills I can still knock – I know enough to do that!
God promises an answer to the one who diligently seeks Him. Many of our passionless prayers are not answered for good reason because it is almost as if we ask God to care about something we care little or nothing about.
God values persistence and passion in prayer because they show that we share His heart. It shows that we care about the things He cares about. Persistent prayer does not overcome God’s stubborn reluctance; it gives glory to Him, expresses dependence upon Him, and aligns our heart more with His.
“No soul can pray in vain that prays as directed above. The truth and faithfulness of the Lord Jesus are pledged for its success.- Ye SHALL receive – ye SHALL find – it SHALL be opened. These words are as strongly binding on the side of God, as thou shalt do no murder is on the side of man. Bring Christ’s word, and Christ’s sacrifice with thee, and not one of Heaven’s blessings can be denied thee.” – Adam Clarke
- Because God commands it.
- It is a form of worship.
- This is a form of intimacy with God.
- God rewards it.
- Keep praying!
Gracious Father God, thank You for prayer as a means of communing and communicating directly with You. We seek to be among those who linger long in front of You. Grant us hearts to sincerely seek You in prayer. In Jesus name, Amen.
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