Matthew 7:7-11 (NIV)
“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. 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!”
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find myself struggling to ask God for things that I really want. I feel as if He may think I am selfish, self-centered, unrealistic, or living in la-la land. I also worry about whether or not what I’m asking and praying for is in alignment with His will and what He desires for me. Are my prayers faithful, are they pure, do they align with God’s will? These questions, going around and around in my mind, often keep me from fully opening up my heart and soul when I am in prayer with God. I can find myself being quiet, withdrawn, and lacking openness and real truth with my prayers. But then I am reminded that whether or not I speaking few words, utter minimal requests, or pour my heart out, God already knows my heart and mind. He knows what I want to ask for, and He wants my whole, full, honest heart. He may not answer in the way I desire, but He still wants me to ask, trusting that He will answer in His way and His timing.
Verse 7 “Ask and it will be given to you…..for everyone who asks receives…” does not mean that we can ask God for whatever we want and He will give it to us. What it does mean is that just as Jesus gave wisdom and spiritual discernment to His disciples, He will also give it to us- if we ASK- He will fill us with the Holy Spirit, who grants wisdom and discernment.
God desires for us to believe in the power of prayer. He wants us to pray without ceasing and trust that God will carry out His will through our prayers. We must have faith in the fact that prayer is an effective instrument. When we seek God with all our hearts and minds, we will find Him. He does not hide from us, and He does not keep things away from us. When we seek Him in prayer, with trusting, faithful hearts, and we ask for his wisdom and discernment, we will in His timing find what we are looking for. We will find what is best for us- what God desires most for our lives- when we SEEK Jesus with all hearts, minds, and souls.
Coming before the Lord in prayer is likened to knocking on a door and waiting with anticipation for someone to answer. Jesus promises us that if we seek Him, we will find Him. And if we knock, the door will be open. Again this doesn’t mean that God will give us anything and everything we ask of Him. Our prayers are not a magic potion or a quick fix to all of our earthy struggles and problems. But if we “KNOCK on God’s door” with the wisdom and discernment He has given us, we can rest assured that He will not grant us something evil. If we persist in prayer and strive for all things noble, right, just, and pure, He will answer our prayers in the loving way only He can. All He asks is that we trust His answers and His timing.