WHAT’S IN A WORD? A lot it seems. ASK, SEEK, KNOCK, RECEIVE, FIND, OPEN DOOR! These are all key words in Jesus exhortation for us to pray in Matthew 7:7-11, “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,” (Matthew 7:-8 NIV). In this process of prayer there seems to be a rising intensity involved in praying. As someone has said, “The phrases signify to seek with earnestness, diligence, and perseverance.” Our hearts and actions will reveal our sincerity in what we are asking of God. Is our prayer simply a habit or a wish or a desire, just something we do or say or are we really seeking God’s will and God’s direction and fulfillment of our real needs in life? Is our prayer diligent in time and action if God is for some reason seemingly delaying the answer to our request placed before Him? Do we continue to pray in earnestness and with diligence though it seems like eternity from the time we started praying? Are we bold enough to knock on heaven’s door continually until the door opens and the answer is revealed?
Jesus reminds us to pray and encourages us concerning answers to our prayers with these words, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 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!” (Matthew 7:9-11). Most parents are kind and generous to their children and certainly God is the best parent of all. When a child needs something to eat, like bread, a godly parent will not present the child with a stone to eat. When we bring our requests before God He will treat us kindly in His answer that will meet the real needs we have. Just as a parent will not give a harmful snake to a child as food when he really needs fish neither will God answer our requests in a way that will harm us and fail to meet our needs. In comparison to God we are sinful people and sinful parents but even in this state most parents know how to give good gifts to their children. How much greater then is God, who is holy, able and willing to give good and perfect gifts to us, His children? Be encouraged; keep asking, seeking and knocking. The answer is on its way.