This promise that asking, seeking and knocking would produce results follows the giving of The Lord’s Prayer and it is sandwiched between two illustrations of God answering prayer.
The first illustration is in verses 5-9 and gives the example of a man who had a friend come to him in the middle of the night asking a favor. The man first says, “Go away, you are disturbing my family.” But the friend continued to pound on the door saying he needed a favor.
Jesus then told them that Friendship aside, it was his diligent and bold pursuit which influenced his friend to help him (v8). It is at this point he says, “Ask… seek… knock.”
The message seems to be that persistence pays off. Many years ago I read something that left me troubled. It was a teaching on faith and the person was trying to say that once you ask, don’t ask again because that is showing a lack of faith. However, that idea is not consistent with what Jesus is teaching here.
By using this trio of petition, ask, seek, knock, Jesus seems to be emphasizing that just reciting the Lords prayer is not going to get the job done. We certainly must ask, but seeking goes beyond asking. Seeking speaks of diligent pursuit. And knocking in the context of asking and seeking seems to imply standing at the door asking and knocking until something happens, as in the case of the example Jesus gave.
He follows the ask, seek, knock instruction with these words: “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 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 the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (v11-13).
Ask, seek and knock; Holy Spirit awaits your diligence.
Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, I am asking, seeking and knocking. I seek your abiding presence. I ask in Jesus name. Amen.
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