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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Sermon on the Mount, Day 34 of 40: Ask, Seek, Knock

Matthew 7: 7-11
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! 
Prayer is a necessary part of every believer's life.  It is the means that God has given us to express our deepest emotions, our deepest desires and feelings.  It is a way of moving ever closer to God and for us to understand God's will in our lives.  God answers our prayers, but in His own time, in His own way, in His own wisdom, and in perfect love.  
So, we must pray in faith; faith that there is a God that loves us and hears our prayers; faith that God will answer our prayers in the way that His love and His wisdom dictate.  
Jesus tells us in these verses that we are to pray persistently.  The Greek words used for ask, seek and knock indicate that we should keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking.  We are to persist in our prayers and never be discouraged.  But in our persistence we must be willing to submit to God's will.  In Isaiah 55: 8-9 we read "For my [God's] thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways,".
But there seems to be something more to the words ask, seek, knock than just persistence.  There is also an urgency about these words.  We are to ask as a destitute person asks, with great humility but with great urgency; a starving person seeking help, seeking assistance from the hand of the one and only one who is able to provide.  We are to seek as if we are lost, trying to find our way out of a tangle of trails that lead to nowhere.  We are to knock heavy handedly, pounding on the door until it is opened to us.
Matthew Henry, a great Puritan commentator on the bible, put it this way, "Pray; pray often; pray with sincerity and seriousness; pray, and pray again; make conscience of prayer, and be constant in it; make a business of prayer, and be earnest in it.  Ask, represent your wants and burdens to God and refer yourselves to him for support and supply.  Ask as a traveller asks the way.  Seek as the thing of value that we have lost.  Knock as he that desires to enter into the house  knocks at the door."
Monday we study the golden rule.

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