Ask, Seek, Knock

Matt Murphy • 04.30.23

“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; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 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?” Matthew 7:7-11

God is a good Father who gives good things.

The way that broken, human fathers respond to their kids is just a whisper of the way God responds in love to His children. Jesus describes our interaction with God through prayer as a father and a child, not a master/slave or teacher/student. This is a profound characterization of God as someone who is compelled and eager to help when asked.

We are loved, and we are limited.

Like a child, we are loved unconditionally by God. Similarly, like a child, our understanding is limited. God does not give us everything we ask for. If He did, He would not be a good father. He gives good, right, whole, complete gifts. They do not always arrive in nice, neat packaging. Sometimes, they arrive as disappointment or seemingly too late. Sometimes parents say no in love, and it is actually a good thing. But it doesn’t always feel that way to a child because their understanding is limited.

Our prayers change things.

God hears you and responds. Jesus gives us a portrait of God as a responsive parent. Often a parent knows what a child needs, but there is something about a child’s request that bends the ear and heart of a parent to compel them to help. When we express what we want in relationship with someone, they can respond in generosity and love. God could have designed any universe He wanted, but He chose to design a universe that operates on the general principle of cause and effect so that we can be in relationship with Him. Prayer is a cause that leads to a tangible effect.

Just keep asking.