Ask, Seek, Knock, then keep on knocking

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8)

Jesus is telling us how important it is to pray - to take our concerns, needs, hurts, and hang-ups to him in prayer. In other words, we are to use our words to express our need. What happens if we don't know what to pray for - when the situation is there, but we have no idea what to ask him to do for us in that situation? We seek wisdom. Sometimes we don't know what is happening in our lives, but we know we need God's help in that moment. We lay out our need, both the one we recognize easily, as well as the one we have a hard time articulating. Then we listen. Prayer is about asking, seeking, and knocking (importuning). We don't always ask, so how do we expect to receive. We might not always seek so as to discover. We may not realize it, but when there seems to be no answer, we might need to make the request over and over again. It doesn't mean God isn't listening, it could just mean he is waiting on us to be ready to receive, act, or change the course we have taken.

Ask (aiteo) - ask for with urgency. This word speaks to the attitude of a suppliant (one who makes a humble, earnest plea or entreaty), the petitioning of one who is lesser in position than he to whom the petition is made. To ask means to call on for an answer, which indicates that we believe there is someone listening. It also implies that we expect Him to answer. Ask is present imperative indicating that we are to keep on asking. This is to become the pattern of our life, a continual act of devotion. Jesus calls us to be in His presence continually.

Seek (zeteo) means to attempt to learn something by carefully investigating it or searching for it. Seeking is asking plus acting, implying that type of earnest petitioning that is coupled with an active endeavoring to see needs fulfilled. When you seek something, you rearrange your priorities so that you can search for what you desire until you find it. If we don't receive by asking, we seek. If we don't receive by seeking, we knock.

Knock (krouo) - to rap at a door for entrance, but then to keep on knocking. The English word "knock" comes from German word meaning to press for what you desire. The idea might imply praying in the face of difficulty or resistance. If you knock like this, you don't give up on expressing your need. You keep on pressing, until you receive the answer.

We might ask, but do we seek? If we don't receive what we need the first time we ask, do we keep our eyes and ears open to discover what God might want to teach in the moment? Search out God's answers. Don't just expect them to fall into your lap. When you learn to ask, seek, and knock, you learn to lean on Jesus more than on your own ability or strength. Just sayin!

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