What Does It Mean
to “Ask, Seek, and Knock”?
Is there something specific that you need God to do on your behalf?
“For everyone who asks receives, the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:8-8, NIV).
Verses 9-11 go on to say: “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 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!”
In another version of the Bible, The Message, these verses are translated, “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?”
God will answer our prayers!
It is very common for Christians to know about prayer, study prayer, memorize prayer verses, read books about it, and still not believe that prayer makes any difference. We prove we don’t really believe what God says about it when we don’t actually pray. God has told us in His Word to ask and seek and knock … He will answer.
Let’s take a look at those key action words in Matthew 7:7-8 … Ask, Seek, and Knock!
It is very common for Christians to know about prayer, study prayer, memorize prayer verses, read books about it, and still not believe that prayer makes any difference.
Prayer changes things in the physical and spiritual realm when you ask according to God’s guidelines.
Seeking God’s answer means that we are looking for possible ways through which God may answer our prayer.
Step 1 “Ask” God
Prayer changes things in the physical and spiritual realm when you ask according to God’s guidelines. But it may take time before that change becomes noticeable. Are you watching for his answer? You can demonstrate your faith and anticipation while you are waiting by “seeking” and “knocking”.
But first, we must ask . James 4:2-3 says, “You don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure” (NLT).
Are the things you are wanting within God’s will for you?
Are you actually taking the time to ask God for what you want? What is it?
John 14:13-14 says, “You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” (NLT).
According to these verses in John, what is the prerequisite for your asking?
John 16:24 puts it this way, “This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks! (The Message).
According to this verse in John 16, what will be the outcome of our asking if we ask in the right way?
Step 2: “Seek” God’s Answer
As the Holy Spirit makes you aware of possibilities, be faithful to pursue them until you have checked them out.
Part of seeking God’s answer is actually seeking Him. Think about that for a minute. It fits in perfectly with the verses related to “asking” according to God’s will. In the Old Testament nearly all of the scriptures using the word “seek” refer to seeking after God. Here are just four verses that represent many!
Deuteronomy 4:29: “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. (NIV)
2 Chronicles 20:4: “The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.” (NIV)
Psalm 105:4: “Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” (NIV)
Jeremiah 29:13” You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (NIV)
As you are seeking your answer, are you seeking God as well?
In what ways are you currently seeking God?
Step 3 “Knock” on Possible Doors
When is the last time you knocked on someone’s door. You usually knock and then wait for that person to answer, right? So have you knocked on God’s door, and are you waiting for an answer? As the Holy Spirit makes you aware of possibilities, be faithful to pursue them until you have checked them out. Knock on the door of a possibility and then wait to see if it will open wide or stay securely closed. God’s answers will present themselves clearly to you!
Consider for a moment the ways you are currently “knocking” on doors:
Do you sense that God is telling you to wait, or should you be knocking on another door?
Here is an example of how the “Ask, Seek, and Knock” could play out in your life.
Knock on the door of a possibility and then wait to see if it will open wide or stay securely closed.
Although you do not know when it will arrive, the answer to your prayer will be right on schedule according to God’s timetable.
Let us assume you need a job. If you go job hunting without praying and asking God first for His direction and blessing, you will be at the mercy of the world system. However, if you ask God for a job but don’t bother to seek out possibilities, then you are not doing your part. Instead, you need to pray until you have the faith to believe God is going to grant your request. Then step out by faith, and seek options, trusting God to guide your steps. When you become aware of a possibility, knock and check it out. As you walk by faith continue to thank God that His answer is on the way. Although you do not know when it will arrive, the answer to your prayer will be right on schedule according to God’s timetable.
We must believe that God will answer. In 1 John 5:14-15 Jesus said, “This is the confidencewe have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (NIV)
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much confidence do you currently have that God hears you and that He will answer you?
“Ask” God for greater confidence!
Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels
Is there something in your life that you specifically want God to show you?
Take time to “Ask, Seek, and Knock” and remember to thank God when He answers.