"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
Every first week of the month, my church have a corporate prayer meeting after Sunday service. Prayer items consists of praying for members and Church programs; national issues especially for Sarawak state election; and the world crisis including praying for persecuted Christians around the world, for safety of the unrest countries and their citizens, and Japan earthquake and tsunami victims.
After today’s corporate prayer meeting and while preparing to share with you all on the work of prayer, I’m more and more convince that we all ought to learn to pray, practice to pray and start to pray! And when you pray, you may and must most confidently expect an answer to your prayer. We have learned that our Father in Heaven is waiting for us pray. It is in prayer and its answer that the interchange of love between the Father and His child (us) take place. Andrew Murray writes, ‘Prayer and its answer – the child asking and the Father giving belong to each other.’
‘Ask, and it will be given to you’ I still remember when I’m watching movie The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, there is a scene when Frodo Baggins and Sam desperately want to enter the Black Gate. Then, Gollum tried to stop them ‘No Master, it’s too dangerous!’ ‘But that’s the only way’, said Frodo. ‘There’s another way Master…’ ‘Another way?’ replied Sam the Brave angrily, ‘Why don’t you tell us sooner?!’ You know what Gollum replied? He said, ‘Master didn’t ask.’
James 4:2 ‘You do not have, because you do not ask.’ The promise is this: Ask, and it will be given to you. Ask the things which consistent for God to give, things which he has promised to give, which would be best for us, and most of all ask things that would glorify His Name. ‘For everyone who asks receives.”
“Seek, and you will find.” This is common sense. Today before I went out for evening walk, I need to change my shirt. Where can I find my favorite Malaysia Football jersey? In the kitchen? Outside my neighbor clothes hanger? No! I must seek it in the right place – my own closet. So it is with our prayer. Seek your answer toward the Father. Seek in the proper spirit; humility, sincerity and perseverance. “The one who seeks finds.”
“Knock and it will be opened to you.” Ask the right person. Seek at the right place. Knock at the right door. Guns n’ Roses said it right when they sing, ‘Knock, knock, knocking on Heaven’s door.’
Andrew Murray once writes, ‘One thing is sure: The Lord wants us to believe most certainly that asking, seeking, and knocking cannot be in vain. Receiving an answer, finding God and the opening of His heart and home are the certain fruit of prayer.’ Adam Clarke comments: ‘Ask with confidence and humility. Seek with care and application. Knock with earnestness and perseverance.’ My Zondervan Study Bible comments that ask… seek… knock… are indicating on constant asking, seeking and knocking. Persistent prayer is being emphasized, like the persistent asking of a desperate beggar. Here is the key of prayer: Keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking!
Men’s prayer on earth and God’s answer in Heaven are meant for each other. He is willing to provide for us, to forgive our sins, to save our souls, to give us eternal life and much delight in extending the gospel throughout the whole world. Pray. Pray. Pray. Richard Foster said, “In prayer, real prayer, we begin to think God’s thoughts after Him: to desire the things he desires, to love the things He loves, to will the things He wills. Progressively, we are taught to see the things from His point of view.”
Before we end, I would like to invite you to pray with me,
Lord Jesus, teach me to pray. I trust You to teach me to pray in faith. Teach me this lesson: Everyone who asks, receives. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.