By Gwendolyn Carole Tipton
The Sermon on the Mount is Jesus’s most famous written message and covers many topics. Ultimately, it tells us that we cannot maintain our own will and strength. We rely on Him in the Spirit—by walking with Him. We ask, seek, and knock to achieve our goals.
Matthew 7:7–8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Jesus commands us to ask.
To ask means to pray with anticipation. Asking is going to God and praying, knowing that He is our Heavenly Father—that He loves us, He hears us, He cares about us, and we can simply present our requests to Him.
Jesus says, “I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you.”
I’m not talking about asking for a bigger house or car or a better job. I’m talking about more significant things than that. I’m talking about asking for God’s glory to manifest in our lives. I’m talking about asking God to use us in a mighty way so that we can make a difference in His Kingdom. I’m talking about asking Him to help us be humble and repent so that we can be ready for opportunities when He wants us to help others. We must ask and pray as we anticipate His unimaginable blessings.
The Word of God tells us to seek.
The Bible tells us not only to ask but also to seek. If asking is praying with anticipation, seeking means making an all-out effort. It means pursuing something until you find or achieve it. Seeking involves coming before the Lord with a simple question: Lord, what can I do to be part of Your answer to my prayer?
For example: Lord, I’m asking for complete healing. What effort must I put forth to help in my healing?
Jesus says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.” Seeking means going to the Lord and praying, “Lord, I want my heart to surrender to You, and I want to be obedient to You so that You can do in me what You want to do.”
And until we step out in obedience, we’re really not seeking. If there’s some area in your life where you’re saying, “Lord, I’m asking You, but I just can’t do this or that,” that one thing may be what’s keeping God from answering that prayer in your life. So Jesus tells us to ask and pray, anticipating answers. He tells us to seek the kingdom of heaven and then… whatever else we want.
He tells us to knock.
The word “knock” brings about the idea of continuation, because when we knock, we don’t just knock once—we keep knocking until someone answers.
Maybe you’ve given up praying about someone or something today. If this describes you, just know that right now, Jesus is speaking to your heart, saying, “Keep on knocking.”
Pray with endurance. Don’t give up. Keep knocking.
There are many reasons that God doesn’t answer our prayers according to our timing. Sometimes, He’s teaching us to appreciate the answer more. Sometimes, He is seeing if we will obey Him and trust Him as we pray. No matter the reason, God’s response to every prayer teaches us how to hold onto His hand and walk through our lives with Him. God gives us the opportunity to ask, seek, and knock.
Jesus constantly reminds us, “I say to you, keep on asking, and it will be given to you. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.” These are ongoing actions. Don’t just do them once; keep on doing.