Ask. Seek. Knock.

Monday, June 15, 2009

This weekend's message at church was about asking God, or making requests of him in our prayers. It was interesting how the pastor pointed out examples after examples of how prayers are simply asking God to do something or move in some way. While I wouldn't characterize prayer as simply "asking", I do believe that asking things of God is encouraged time after time in Scripture. If I had to summarize prayer into one phrase, it would be "Communion with God." (Thanks, hubby for putting it into words.) And asking God to intervene in our lives is definitely a big part of that. In fact, as pastor pointed out this weekend, even the Lord's Prayer is made entirely of requests.

Here are a couple of verses we looked at:

James 4:2b- "You do not have, because you do not ask God."

Matthew 7:7- "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

I love the verse from James.... you don't have because you don't ask. Pretty plain and simple. Gotta love James. :-) But the message this weekend really got me thinking, what am I asking God for? And why don't I ask for more? God wants us to have an expectant heart, a faith-filled heart that knows He will answer our prayers.

I think that too often I feel guilty asking for things. But why? Why do I feel guilty asking my heavenly Father for things, when he has clearly commanded me to do so? I think, as in everything, it all boils down to motive. You see, its great to say that we need to be asking God for more, but if you're just asking out of your own selfish ambitions, of course you are going to be disappointed that your requests seemingly are not met. That's why I think the verse in James goes so well hand-in-hand with the verse in Matthew... ask... seek... knock. When we are actively seeking to know God more, searching out His plan for our lives, and longing to be in His will, the things we ask for will of course be in accordance with Him. But, when we just start making a "shopping list" of requests without seeking what it is God really wants for our lives, that's when we get into trouble.

I also think that the more I seek God, the more I will learn to ask of Him. So what am I asking for? And what are my motives? Are my desires for a family out of my own selfish ambition? Or is there more to it? Are my desires to live close to my family selfish? I have a lot to think about, but isn't it exciting to know that the God of the Universe wants us to ask HIM? And we know that His promises will not return void... in fact there's another promise that fits in with all of this too....

Psalm 37:4
"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."

First, we must seek and delight ourselves in the Lord. Then his desires will become our desires and we will see the fruit of that labor.

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