Matthew 7:7-12 – “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” NKJV
Before we are through I hope to address some of the overlooked or forgotten portions of this passage but the overriding thought is PERSISTENCE and PERSEVERANCE in prayer. I wonder how many times we miss the answer to our prayers by ceasing to pray? I wonder how many times we fail to receive the miracle or the provision of the petition because we gave up? We live in what I call a “microwave world” where we expect instant everything including answers to our prayers. Our entertainment mentality and television programmed minds expect instantaneous results and if we do not get an immediate response we become bored and move on to the next few minutes of focus.
Jesus gave this three-part or tiered directive regarding prayer and He layered one upon the other, I believe, to impress upon us the importance of PERSISTENCE and PERSEVERANCE. Just because we do not get the positive answer to our petition immediately and may hear nothing or see no movement as we ASK, that does not mean God is not listening or that He does not care. Jesus did not say, “Ask and maybe you will receive.” He said, “Everyone who asks receives.” I would suggest that we do not really believe that but that is what He said and I can try to analyze, theorize, doctrinalize, and using a theological argument to counter that, but it is what He said! He then said, “he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” So, if you have not gotten the answer in asking, start seeking. If you are out of work and need a job, do you just ask God to give you another one and do nothing else? No, you seek a job in conjunction with your asking God for a job. Is that the end? No, you knock, beat the bushes, and exhaust the possibilities as you ask and seek. Simply your PERSIST and PERSEVERE you do not give up, give in and quit.
If you have not received the answer and you have asked multiple times is that reason to believe that God does not care and quit? I say NO! Have you considered that the reason you have not received is that you have not persisted? Have you considered that the reason you have not received is that you are not ready and God needs to do some things in your life to prepare you for that answer? Have you considered that maybe God has something better for you? Have you considered that the timing may be all wrong or that you are asking before what you desire is ready? Maybe God needs to work on you or work on others before He can grant your petition but don’t quit. Ask, Seek, and Knock! Someone asked, “Are you saying I should become a pest in my request?” Not really, but if that works to keep you pressing in, YES!
Consider vv.9-12 with me if you will. Jesus asked a very interesting question on the heels of His declaration about our Persistence and Perseverance in prayer. He asks, “…what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” That should be a reminder that God is more righteous than we and if we would ignore our children’s requests or give them something unneeded, unnecessary, or harmful why would we think God would do so? He continued saying, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” HALLELUJAH! That is an important truth for us to grasp in prayer. We, human beings who are bent toward evil and outside of Christ living depraved KNOW HOW to give good gifts to our children. WE DO! God is our Father and loves His children and IF WE HUMANS know how to give good gifts – WHAT ABOUT GOD? He most assuredly knows how, He desires to, and will give His children good gifts.
Persistence and Perseverance in Prayer are not for God it is for us. It helps us to focus on the Person, not the Problem. The Person of God and draws us into His presence. It helps us develop confidence in His Promises and Provisions. It teaches us the value of refusing to give up. It trains us in spiritual warfare. If we consider any delay in the answer to our prayers as God’s timing or training, we will find it easier to PERSIST and PERSEVERE than if we simply believe the lie of hell that God does not care causing us to wonder why should we continue. Consider the incredible Love of God for humanity, as witnessed in the Cross. If you can view the Cross without seeing God’s Love then nothing I can saw will be of benefit, but if you view the Cross through the eyes of incredible Love you will desire to PERSIST and PERSEVERE and the Promise of Jesus will become reality for you. He will either grant what you desire, provide something better, transform you, or teach you that what you requested, sought, and knocked for is not right for you and not in your best interest. HE ALWAYS ANSWERS PRAYER!
God, bless you richly as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!