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Asking, Seeking, and Knocking: What Did Jesus Mean?

5 Mins read

The Sermon on the Mount is arguably the most famous address that Jesus ever gave. Through the four Gospel Accounts, we find hundreds of statements that Christ made, but this particular sermon is widely regarded as His most exhaustive teaching. Throughout the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke about many aspects of Christian living.

He talked about God’s ability to comfort those who are facing times of immense pain. He spoke about the importance of remaining humble at all times. However, one of the most important themes found in the Sermon on the Mount is the concept of prayer.

While there are multiple parts of the Sermon on the Mount that talk about prayer, we’re going to study a particular passage in which Jesus spoke about the importance of asking, seeking, and knocking. Take a look at two verses from Saint Matthew’s Gospel.

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Matthew 7:7-8 (TPT)
“Ask, and the gift is yours. Seek, and you’ll discover. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. For every persistent one will get what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he longs for. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door.”

These two verses are considered progressive. They paint a picture of starting at one point and progressing to another point.

What did Jesus mean when He spoke about asking, seeking, and knocking? We know that God wants to give us good gifts. In fact, the verses that follow the passage that we just read speak about the fact that God longs to bless us with only the best things.

Today, discover the power of persistence that Christ was teaching about when He laid the framework of effective prayer. Asking, seeking, and knocking will result in a deeper prayer life and a more intimate walk with God. It can also be the secret to unlocking the blessings that you are asking God for.

Step 1: Asking

1 John 5:14-15 (TPT)
Since we have this confidence, we can also have great boldness before him, for if we ask anything agreeable to his will, he will hear us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we also know that we have obtained the requests we ask of him.

The first step that Jesus spoke about was asking. Yes, God knows the desires of our hearts, and He can hear our thoughts even before we think them. However, He still wants us to make our requests known to Him.

If you have children, you’re already aware of this concept. While you know what your child needs, you probably still ask him or her what they want for their birthday or for Christmas. You love hearing your child communicate with you about what he or she wants because you want to give them good gifts. God wants us to share every desire of our hearts with Him.

When our requests align with the Word of God, which is the written will of God, He is eager to bless us with every good thing.

In the Book of James, the half-brother of Jesus wrote that we do not have the things that we want because we do not ask for them, or we ask for them while they are against the will of God (James 4:2-3).

Spend time reading God’s Word so you can better know His will. Our desires should align with God’s will. If you find yourself asking for something that doesn’t match up with God’s will, you should certainly change your requests. But when you know that what you’re requesting comes from a place of love for God, make your requests known to Him.

Step 2: Seeking

Psalm 63:1-2 (TPT)
O God of my life, I’m lovesick for you in this weary wilderness. I thirst with the deepest longings to love you more, with cravings in my heart that can’t be described. Such yearning grips my soul for you, my God! I’m energized every time I enter your heavenly sanctuary to seek more of your power and drink in more of your glory.

When David wrote these words, he had a major need in his life. He had been anointed by Samuel to be the next King of Israel, but Saul was still on the throne. David had sought refuge among other nations, but when a war would break out between those nations and Israel, they would send David away because they assumed that he would fight for his homeland. David found himself isolated, scared, and seemingly alone. It was in those moments that he chose to seek God.

There is no question that David asked God to deliver him. Other Psalms that can be traced back to this particular period in David’s life record some of the heartfelt prayers that he offered up to God. David prayed for God to protect him, he asked God to bring his promises to fruition, and he sought God about what he should do next. However, David still found himself facing the same problems that he had been dealing with for years.

It is in those moments that we must truly seek God. Seeking God when we’re praying about something isn’t about getting what we want. Instead, it involves looking for the opportunity to know God more intimately so we can ensure that what we’re asking for aligns with His will.

Step 3: Knocking

Matthew 15:27-28 (TPT)
“You’re right, Lord,” she replied. “But even the puppies get to eat the crumbs that fall from the prince’s table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Dear woman, your faith is strong! What you desire will be done for you.” And at that very moment, her daughter was instantly set free from demonic torment.

Finally, the story that preceded these verses is a wonderful example of someone knocking when it appeared that the door was closed. A woman from another country came and asked Jesus to heal her daughter. To the surprise of many, He denied her request. On the surface, this response seems puzzling. After all, we know that Jesus loved everyone, so why did He deny her request? It was because He wanted to see her persistence in action.

When we think of knocking at a door, we get a mental image of something being on one side of the door while we’re on the other. Obviously, we’re knocking because we want to get to what’s on the other side of the door.

Sometimes when we pray, God doesn’t immediately grant our request. Look back at the passage that we just read and the story that it took place in. Jesus knew He was going to heal the woman’s daughter. He knew that she would continue asking, and He had already seen the end of the story from the point that they were in. He has seen the end of your story, too.

If you’ve been asking, and you’ve sought the will of God, but it still doesn’t look like there is anything happening, don’t stop knocking. God doesn’t have the door closed as a way to punish you or to withhold His blessings from your life. Instead, He simply wants you to see the power of persistent prayer.

A Closing Prayer:

Heavenly Father, help me to make the changes necessary within myself so my prayer life can become a stronger part of who I am. Reveal Your will to me so that I know when I ask for something, my request aligns with Your will. Most of all, help me to persist, even when it looks like nothing is happening. I know that You will not withhold blessings from me, so give me the strength to continue asking, seeking, and knocking. In Christ’s name, Amen

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