Matthew 7:7–11 (ESV) — 7 “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 the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are 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!
Ongoing and persistent asking!
Is there a significant difference between αἰτέω ‘ask’, ζητέω ‘seek’, and κρούω ‘knock’?
Jesus is emphasizing that we need persistence, perseverance and importunity
Together the three verbs emphasize the effectiveness of prayer—it gets things done, even if we do not understand it.
There is a progression from general to particular: asking is the most general, seeking is trying to find a particular thing, and knocking is going to the place where the sought thing can be found
There is a rising scale of intensity and a cumulative relationship: asking is coming with humility before a personal God with faith and awareness of need, seeking is earnestly asking plus acting in ways consistent with having the prayer answered, knocking is seeking plus persevering, knocking again and again until the door is opened. Perseverance is probably implied for all three because of the present tense, but it is certain in the last because of the inherent connotation of the word
1. Starts with revelation that you or someone needs something
1. "You have not because you ask not.” James 4:2
2. Some of us are so prideful it effects our prayer life.
1. I’m here to tell you, God commands that we ask HIM. Ask is an imperative which means it’s a command not a suggestion.
3. Why do we NOT ask?
1. Pride: “God is too busy to worry about me” “It’s not that bad, why ask God” “I’m more of a servant, I don’t need anything”
2. Discouragement: “I asked and didn’t receive or didn’t get what I wanted and I just don’t want to try that again.”
3. weariness: “I’ve asked so many times I’m just tired of asking”
4. hopelessness: “God doesn’t listen to me what’s the point.”
5. Ignorant: “I just didn’t think about asking”
2. You ask HIM
1. James 1:16–17 (ESV) — 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
2. Explanation: We can receive gifts from others as this passage eludes to. But the gifts that we actually want or need comes from the father.
3. Question: Have you been asking someone else for gifts and need to start asking God?
3. You ask with confidence you will receive from Him
1. As more prayer is answered God grows a confidence in you that He is truly the one that answers prayers.
2. Track record of answers prayers builds this confidence.
3. EX: Jesus asks two blind men “Do you think that I am able?”
4. You continue to ask
1. Ask is a present imperative (ongoing command)
2. Ask, Seek, knock
1. Temptation is to throw a prayer up and call it good.
2. Jesus trains us to keep asking, seek out to find, and knock when you do.