The teaching of Matthew 7 verses 7 through 11 is part of the greatest discourse of Jesus Christ called The Sermon on the Mount. During this teaching, our Lord Jesus took out time to address quite a number of issues that have formed the basis of how we live as Christians today. From Matthew chapter 5 to the end of chapter 7.
The teaching against unbelief, depicting God as a loving and caring Father was part of this great discourse. Jesus used Matthew 7 verses 7-11 to assure us of the certainty of answered prayers.
Let’s quickly read these few verses and then analyse the three important aspects outlined in those verses.
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
THE THREE ASPECTS OF A.S.K (Ask. Seek. Knock)
The passages we read above clearly shows that there are three aspects employed in tabling our requests unto God. Some people have referred to these as the three levels of prayers when considered with regards to intensity, whereby asking is the least level and knocking is the highest level. In this post, we shall consider the first sentence of Matthew 7 verse 7 which says, “Ask, and it shall be given you.”
1. Ask, and it shall be given you
The word translated as Ask in Matthew 7:7 is the Greek word aiteo, which means to ask, to crave, to beg, to desire or to demand. In several passages of the scriptures, God enjoins us to ask for whatsoever we need. To ask means that you need or want something.
A few things to note about asking:
a) You must know and understand the promises meant for you.
“Search from the book of the LORD, and read: Not one of these shall fail; Not one shall lack her mate. For My mouth has commanded it, and His Spirit has gathered them.” Isaiah 34:16.
Most times, we languish in lack because we don’t even know the things that are meant for our life and godliness. For you to enjoy the benefits of the cross (death and resurrection of Jesus Christ), you must know those benefits. If you are a child whose father kept some meal for you in the oven before she left the house, you will likely be crying for hunger until she returns, except you know that there’s food in the oven for you. So, knowledge of all God’s promises is important as you go to God to ask.
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. 2 Peter 1:3.
You need to know the promises meant for you before you can possess them. Because if you don’t know what belongs to you, you won’t ask for them. And what you don’t ask for, won’t be given to you – it’s in the verse we just read (ask and it shall be given to you)
Daniel understood by books when the end of the Babylonian captivity should be. So, he began to pray to ask for freedom. (Daniel 9)
So, the knowledge of the promises of God upon your life cannot be overemphasized. This is why you must make the Bible your friend – read and meditate on it day and night God told Joshua. Because in it you’ll find the promises of God meant for you. And as you come before God asking in accordance to His Word, you’ll have your petition granted.
b) You must ask before you can receive it.
This is important to note from the above passage. It doesn’t mean that God is unaware of your needs, but He wants that you fulfil your responsibility of asking, of craving, of desiring. Whatsoever it is, and in whatever situation you may find yourself, make sure to ask. So, many times people don’t receive because they don’t ask.
James 4:2: “You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.”
c) You must ask in Faith.
You don’t ask with unbelief, doubts and all that, else you won’t receive from God. Let not that man think he will receive from God who asks without faith and trust in the ability of the Most High to answer and grant his heart desire.
Mattew 21:22, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
d) You must ask in humility as one who is begging.
Yes, in fact, the Greek word aiteo translated as to ask, also means to beg as seen in Matthew 27:58. You want a thing and arrogance is the last thing you want to display. The woman who Jesus told that good things aren’t given to dogs didn’t show any form of anger nor pride. She argued her case in humility and got her heart desire met. You don’t go to your father for bread or fish and do that arrogantly.
When Hannah was asking for a child from God, she humbled herself and was respectful in her response to the Priest Eli. (1 Samuel 1:9-17)
The Pharisees never got their questions answered because they weren’t sincere and were full of arrogance. But Nicodemus humbled himself and came by night to ask questions. That was what made him receive the clearest explanation of how to become born again from the mouth of Jesus. (John 3:1-8)
e) You must also ask aright, according to the will of God.
An assured way of receiving your desires is aligning your desires, wants, needs to the needs and desires of heaven. God will always support any project that goes in the direction of his will. So, any prayer made with what God wants in mind is guaranteed to be answered.
1 John 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. – Romans 8:26-27.
f) Ask for the right motives.
This is similar to the point above. A wrong motive is asking for things that you want to spend on pleasures that do not glorify God. If you desire to have things that you’d use to cause God more offence, then you shouldn’t expect God to answer you. If you ask for selfish purposes or to undo others with your desires or to reproach your neighbour, then you won’t receive. God won’t grant your heart desire so you can oppress others with what he has given.
James 4:3, NIV: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
g) Have God’s Word abiding in you.
There are answers that can only be gotten when you have God’s word abiding in you. God gives his universal blessings to everyone, sinner or Christian. And being a God of principles, anyone who labours receives a reward for his labour irrespective of his born again status. However, there are things that only those in Christ will enjoy, others outside him cannot.
John 15: 7, ” If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
1 John 3:22, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”
From the foregoing, we see that our demands are always granted by God as long as we fulfil certain conditions of asking, believing, abiding in Him, following His commandments and asking according to His will.
And there are many scriptures to prove that there is nothing that is impossible for God to do for us if we but ask. (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:27; Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27)
Thanks for reading. Kindly share with your contacts, and God bless you.