So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Luke 11: 9-10
Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. … how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him. Matt. 7:7-8, 11
I find it difficult to ask God for what I need. God knows what I need already, I reason. Why should I bother him? Plus, what if we disagree about what I need? If I am thinking that I need something I don’t have, then maybe I don’t have it because God doesn’t think I need it. It would be worse to have God tell me I don’t need it than just to schlump along with my disappointment.
Why Should I Bother God About What I Need?
I don’t exactly know what to do. But God says I’m supposed to “bother” him. And God says that “it” will be given to me. The question is: What will be given? Here’s how I break down the two texts:
- Ask … it will be given … everyone who asks receives
- Seek … you will find … the seeker finds
- Knock … the door will be opened … to the one who knocks, the door will be opened
- Ask God and receive “good gifts”
Those aren’t exactly encouraging if what I’m looking for is some specific thing I’ve determined I need.
What If God Disagrees About What I Need?
But on the other hand, if what I go seeking is a field and what I find is treasure in that field, hasn’t God done something much better? If I go pounding at a door trying to get Someone to pay attention to me and instead am invited in, hasn’t God done something much better?
I don’t like asking, seeking and knocking, when I don’ t know what’s behind Door Number 3. But according to these texts, I know Who’s behind Door Number 3. And even if I don’t know what today’s prize is, God says it’s a good one.
So I guess I’d better get ready to search and prepare to bruise my knuckles.
Or maybe the door isn’t nearly that thick and God answers more readily than I fear. What do you think?
Choose one thing you’ve been avoiding discussing with God. Open the conversation.
Consider using a spiritual journal to keep track of the conversations you have with God. That way, when you receive, find, walk through open doors, and obtain “good gifts,” you will begin to have a record showing how God has responded to your requests.
Consider whether one or two friends might join in your conversations with God. God promises to be present when two or more gather. Some people even find that more prayers get answered when they pray in agreement with others. Maybe we find wiser prayers when we pray together. Or maybe when we get answers to shared prayers, it’s harder to convince ourselves that the answer was “just a coincidence.” Either way, consider praying together with others.
What other action opportunities would you suggest?