"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.Matthew 7:7(NASB)
Christ's Sermon on the Mount is an extended teaching that covers numerous distinct yet interconnected topics of Christian life and godly living. Not only are we to explore the inner motive of our heart with regard to our personal words and actions, but we are to consider our conduct towards others and appraise our attitude towards our neighbour.
One important topic that threads its way throughout Christ's life and teaching is the matter of prayer. Early in His sermon, Jesus called His followers to love their enemies and pray for those who mistreat or persecute them. This was a revolutionary teaching to the Jews of Christ's day. The Jewish leaders taught them to love their fellow man and hate their enemy - but Christ taught them to love their enemies as well as their neighbours, and to lift them up to their Heavenly Father in prayer.
Jesus also warned against sanctimonious and self-righteous praying that was practised by the religious leaders of the day. They turned their prayers into a prideful exhibition of self-proclaimed righteousness, instead of humbly seeking the Lord with all their heart. He warned His followers that such ostentatious behaviour was not only hypocritical and dishonouring to the Lord, but that such prayers would not be heard by God.
Jesus wanted His followers to understand that prayer is a cry to the Father-heart of God from His dependent children, and told us, "When you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father Who is in secret, and your Father Who sees what is done in secret will reward you." He even gave His disciples a model prayer - often called 'The Lord's Prayer' or 'The Disciple's Prayer' as an aid in establishing the sound principles and practice of prayer.
And in this verse, Jesus expands His lessons on prayer and how to pray aright. He tells us, "Ask (and keep on asking) and it will be given to you; seek (and keep searching with the promise that) you will find; knock, (and keep on knocking) and the door will be opened to you."
We are to ask our Heavenly Father for the things we need and we are to keep on asking. We are to present our simple petitions to the One that has promised to provide for all our needs and comfort all our heartaches.
We are to ask and keep on asking, with full assurance that He hears our cries and answers the prayer that is offered in faith and in line with His will. We have been given access into the throne room of grace for mercy to find help in time of need. We are to keep in close communication with our Lord - and enjoy sweet fellowship with our Heavenly Father.
We are to seek the Lord and to keep on seeking Him, for by Him and through Him we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. We are to apply ourselves to diligently and earnestly seek the truth of the glorious gospel of God, as we search out all the jewels concealed in the Scripture and discover the little surprises that are hidden in the Word of God. The more we seek the Lord, the more our faith will be established in Him.
Our seeking is designed by God to enable us to grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus. We are to seek and we are to keep on seeking, for the one who searches out the deep truths of God will not be disappointed, but greatly rewarded. In Proverbs 25, we are told that it is the glory of God to conceal a thing, BUT the glory of kings is to search out a matter - and we are called by His name to be kings and priests, and to be His ministers of reconciliation to display His glory to a lost world.
We are to knock and keep on knocking. We are to knock with patient endurance and steadfast perseverance. We are to knock with confidence and humility even when life's circumstances seem to test our faith and sap our strength. We are to knock and keep on knocking even when the prowling enemy of our soul tries to cause our hearts to faint. And even when God’s presence seems very far removed from us, we are to knock and knock and keep on knocking, for the testing of our faith develops perseverance, and such endurance must finish its work within so that we become mature and complete, lacking nothing as we tightly cling to His all-sufficient grace.
God has promised to answer all the prayers of those who diligently seek Him, but too often our prayers are selfish or soulless. Too often our calls and half-hearted, lack passion, or simply become a formula to be followed. Prayer, however, is the greatest weapon that God has given to His children, and we have been instructed to pray without ceasing - and having done all to PRAY.
Let us be persistent in our prayer life and impassioned in our praying. Let us ask in faith, seek diligently, and knock frequently, knowing that He is a God that hears and answers prayer. And let us use the privilege of prayer wisely, reverently, discreetly, and for His greater praise and glory.
Let us ASK and keep asking for He has promised to give us all we need for life and godliness. Let us SEEK and keep searching, for He has promised all who seek Him, will find Him when we shall search for Him with all our heart. And let us KNOCK and keep on knocking, for He has promised that the door will be opened. Praise His holy name.
Loving Father, thank You for breaking down the barrier between God and man and permitting me to come into Your holy presence in prayer, for mercy to find help in time of need. Help me to pray and keep on praying in spirit and in truth. Help me to pray purposefully and persistently, and in accordance with Your will... and may I learn to ask in faith, to seek You with all my heart, and to knock with patient endurance so that I may live according to Your will. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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