Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7–8
As Christians, we are called to advance the kingdom of God and effect change in the spiritual realm. As Jesus neared the end of His teaching, He said that the primary way for this to happen is through prayer.
“Ask,” He said, “and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Jesus wasn’t saying that we could ask for any whim; He was saying that everything we need for a spiritually fruitful life is ours for the asking.
First of all, Jesus told us, “Ask, and it will be given to you.” We could ask for many things, but in Luke 11, we discover the best thing we could ask for: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13).
We can ask God to increase the fruit of the Spirit in our lives: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23). We can also pray for the power of the Spirit. Jesus, before returning to heaven, told His disciples, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me” (Acts 1:8). We can ask the Lord for power to speak to others about Him, and He will give it. And we can ask for the gifts of the Spirit. Paul listed some of them: the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues (see 1 Corinthians 12:7–10). As we ask God about our role in the body of Christ, He will give understanding to us.
Jesus said that when we ask, we will receive. We often settle for less than what God has for us, but Jesus wants us to pray through to the reception of our requests.
Seek, and you will find
Second, Jesus said, “.” At the top of the list of things we could seek would simply be the Lord. David declared, “When you said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek’” (Psalm 27:8).
God wants a personal, intimate relationship with each and every believer in Jesus Christ—not just pastors or missionaries but the person who works nine to five, the mom at home with the kids, the student at school. In the Old Testament only a select few knew God in a deep and intimate way, but because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, all of us can know the Lord.
The third thing Jesus said is, “Knock, and it will be opened to you.” This has to do with guidance. We know that God wants us to worship Him, but what does that look like for each of us personally?
This is where knocking comes in: we ask God for direction, and then we have to knock on doors, or take steps. God has something completely fresh and new and exciting for us, but we’ve got to be willing to take a step of faith and go.
As we knock, the door will be opened. God will give us the wisdom that we need to be certain of His will and to move into His purpose for us. Remember, Jesus opens and no man shuts, and He shuts and no man opens (see Revelation 3:7).
So we are to ask for a fresh work of the Spirit. We are to seek the Lord with all our heart. We are to knock, step out, and seek the wisdom to move forward in God’s plan and purpose for our life. Jesus promised that as we do these things, we will receive, we will find, and doors will be opened.