Ask and it will be given to you, Seek and you shall find, Knock and the door will be opened unto you. Matthew 7:7
While Jesus was walking the earth he knew he who he was. He preached the Gospel to the poor, healed the sick, raised the dead, and forgave the sinners. He knew His mission and His authority. And He imparted His vision and power to the twelve and in turn to us. Jesus did not notice a hurting and dieing person and say to Himself “Well God is sovereign and He will take care of that person” or He didn’t pray a passive prayer to about that person. Christ knew that the only salvation or healing there was came from Him. He knew His role and He knew where he got His power from. He knew the Father and at all time sought the will of the Father.
In the book of James it says in 4:3 “When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James here speaks to the heart of the matter. Many of us in reading Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you, Seek and you shall find, Knock and the door will be opened to you”, find this scripture to fit right along side a Santa Claus like list of prayers and when it doesn’t “work” we settle for some preachers interpretation of the scripture robbing us of the ultimate truth and power we have been given in it.
James says that if our motives are wrong then the results of our prayers will be wrong as well. I have a favorite verse in the Bible because it at one time freed me from myself and yet through the years I have began to see a different interpretation. Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. I use to read this with the idea that the things I wanted God would give me if I just loved Him enough. At one point that was all I was able to comprehend but now I see that God wants to give me new desires. He want to give me new desires, desires that line up with His will and purpose, desires that help to establish His Kingdom.
Paul writes in 1Thessalonians 2:19 “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed you are our glory and joy.” Paul’s only joy was the growth and establishment of the Church. Paul’s heart was purified from the attachments the desire of the world and even his carnal will. Paul’s delight and his joy were in the Kingdom, in evangelism, in Jesus, in the will of the Father.
So let’s go back to Matthew 7:7 and think about today. When I am in prayer with the pure desire to glorify God and establish His kingdom, I askGod to work in the heart of my friend at work who is hurting and outside of grace, then I seek for an opportunity to speak the Love and grace of God, Then when I find the angle at which to show them the Love of God, I Knock on the door of the situation and take action knowing that the door has been opened for me to speak. Ultimately I have asked for the opportunity, discerned what to say and when to say it, then I act in complete obedience to the will of the Father knowing that my action will be effective. This is God’s will and when you want to be used by God and you are willing to be in the wine press with those in the world He will use you when you ask. You have the only good news there is to tell but you can’t not go at it alone you need the power and favor of the Father.
So Ask, Seek, and Knock; knowing that for a child of the Kingdom there is no door we can’t enter, there is no situation that God is not willing to speak into. Just ask for the will of the Father, seek for it in every situation, and when the opportunity is given to you kick open the door in the power of the Father.
You see the kind of praying that Jesus speaks of is active life giving prayer that involves action. Action for some of us seems not to be related to prayer but true prayer always involves action and I would submit to you that all actions in the life of a disciple involve prayer. Action and prayer are inseparable. It is the incarnation of God. A life in prayer is a life with God. Prayer cannot be dichotomized into a moment of the day or an act that can be compared to any other action. “Prayer is a way of being in the world with God.” Jonathan Martin