7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

9 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 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! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Matt 7:7-12 (NIV)

In the previous chapter Jesus taught us how to bring glory and honor to God through our prayers by giving us the model of the Lord’s Prayer. In our verses for today, He teaches us to pray, pray and pray again. I am reminded of Paul’s words to the Thessalonians:

17 pray continually; 1 Thess 5:17 (NIV)

“Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life of the saint. Beware of anything that stops the offering up of prayer...maintain the childlike habit of offering up prayer in your heart to God all the time.” Oswald Chambers

“You know the value of prayer; it is precious beyond all price. Never, never neglect it.” Thomas Buxton

12 “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD. Jer 29:12-14 (NIV)

Jesus assures us that God welcomes our prayers and urges us to come to Him persistently and continuously. This is emphasized by His use of the present tenses in the verbs – “keep on asking”; “keep on seeking”; “keep on knocking”. Where God finds a prayerful heart, He will be found faithful to hear our supplications. He is discovered by those who earnestly seek Him. Indeed, as our Great High Priest in heaven, Scripture tells us Jesus is at the right hand of God living to intercede on our behalf setting forth for us the perfect example:

24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Heb 7:24-25 (NIV)

We must also approach God as His children – as one would approach their earthly father – both expectantly and confidently - with complete trust that He will never withhold anything from us which would be for our ultimate good. We can be assured He has full knowledge of what is best for His children and we can rest securely in what His hand allows in our lives. It is the promise of Scripture and he is ever faithful to His Word:

10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Psalms 34:10 (NIV)

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalms 84:11 (NIV)

God compares His love and concern for His people to both an earthly father and a mother however, His compassion, tenderness and goodness far surpasses that of any fleshly parent. While God is infinitely wise and kinder in what He bestows, natural parents can be found foolishly fond – lavishing without having the wisdom to show restraint – to the ultimate detriment and not good of the child. God is able to give us anything yet He is wiser to withhold His hand if in His infinite wisdom He knows it will harm and not help us:

13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; Psalms 103:13 (NIV)

15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! 16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” Isaiah 49:15-16 (NIV)

James tells us that every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from God Who ever remains the same:

17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 (NIV)

What I know to be true by experience is that God delights in our praying back the promises of His Word to Him. We can be confident we are praying His will as well as being assured the answer will come to pass in His time.

“Pleading the promises of God is the whole secret of prayer.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones

What I Glean

  • I am to pray continually.
  • Prayer is a precious privilege.
  • God is compassionate and kind and does not withhold anything from me that would not be for my ultimate good.