Ask Seek Knock
And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.
“So I say to you, 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. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” /// Luke 11:5-13
Have you ever had to wait for an answer from God? What were the thoughts that came to your mind during the waiting? After teaching His disciples how to pray (verses 1-4), Jesus began to speak to them about answered prayer. Simply praying the outline of the Lord’s prayer will lead to answered prayer because it focuses on the will of the Lord before our desires. It focuses on the goodness of God – trusting the heart of God in all things. Isn’t that the definition of true faith? Then, Jesus prepares His disciples for what happens in response to prayer. One of the things that we experience when we pray is waiting on an answer.
Jesus tells the parable of a man going to a friend at an inopportune time for a need. The man doesn’t get out of bed because of his relationship with his friend but because the man continues to knock. Then, Jesus tells His disciples that they are to request from God with the following knowledge:
Ask and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek, and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock, and keep on knocking and it will be opened to you. /// Matthew 7:7 (AMP)
This is the true tense of what is being said by Jesus. Our lives are a series of events directed by one dominant factor. We are saved once, but die daily (1 Cor. 15:31). We give our lives to God once but submit to His will daily. Prayer follows that same pattern: we have faith but keep on moving into the unknown to find faith’s answer. It is a process of certainty. It works itself out as a process but the outcome is certain during the process.
Jesus tells us of the value of persistence. If you follow His pattern you will get to the answer even if you have to wait – and sometimes we do. We only see from our perspective, but we must know that there is much more to what we are asking for than what we can see with our eyes. Our answer may involve other moving parts that need to respond within the will of God to meet our request. Jesus said for us to not be discouraged during this process. Notice the process again:
Asking is easy and quick. It only takes a moment. But, after asking, we move into seeking. Seeking implies time. Seeking implies search. Seeking implies learning through the search. Seeking leads us to knocking. Knocking implies eminence. Knocking implies face to face contact. Knocking implies divine encounter with God.
Jesus told us not to be surprised at the process. It will involve these three aspects and will require perseverance. At the end of this passage, Jesus reminds us that in prayer, we are approaching Someone who does love us and desires to see the process of asking, seeking, and knocking come to its full completion. The friend answered the door because the man wouldn’t stop knocking. In prayer to God, the door is answered because of our relationship with Jesus.
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. /// James 1:4
In Christ, answered prayer includes spiritual growth.
- Luke 11:5-13
- Matthew 7:7 (AMP)
- 1 Corinthians 15:31
- James 1:4
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