Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 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 good gifts to those who ask him! —Matthew 7:7-11
When I think of the words ask, seek, and knock, I immediately think of children. Their unfiltered innocence leads them to make bold and sometimes very passionate requests when they want something (especially when their birthday and Christmas roll around). I also think of their desire to want to play hide and seek over and over without growing tired. And although the knocking down of fragile objects may first come to mind for you when you hear the word knock associated with children, I think of them metaphorically knocking for answers by insistently asking their parents and teachers all the questions they have about the world and how it works.
He not only has the power to answer our requests, but also the desire to do so.
I’m not a parent (at least to a human child, that is 🐶), but I can imagine, this kind of tenaciousness and spirited energy, although admirable and sometimes cute, can prove to be exhausting at times. However, this is the very audaciousness and uninhibited enthusiasm our Heavenly Father wants us to continually approach Him with!
Yet, why is it that approaching His presence and truly believing that He wants to bless us with our hearts desires such a challenging thing for us adults to do sometimes? I think Christians, myself included, can be quick to make requests to Jesus halfheartedly, on a whim. Perhaps that’s because we wrongfully equate other people failing to meet our needs with Him potentially failing us. Or maybe our conscious or subconscious unbelief is causing us to feel reluctant about Him being able to answer what we're asking of Him.
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. —James 1:6-7
Below is an acronym that can be used to help us grow in our faith and ASK our heavenly dad for good gifts:
Acknowledge and remember how mighty our God is.
The Lord is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent — characteristics us humans could never amount to no matter how hard we tried. Here is a great list that includes many more names and titles for God that are worth meditating on.
“Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Once we choose to fully recognize his divine, unchanging attributes, we will be more inclined to truly believe that He not only has the power to answer our requests, but also the desire to do so. Whenever we doubt His ability to answer what we ask Him in prayer, we’re ultimately doubting who He says He is. If this is the case, may we be humble enough to ask him to help us overcome our unbelief, like this father does in Mark 9:21-24:
Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Seek Him actively and regularly.
There are instances when seeking the Lord can feel like an obligation because we know it’s something we should do as His followers. When in reality, communing with Him is something we GET to do; it’s a holy privilege that us Christians should never take for granted. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection, we have direct access to a holy God and the opportunity to share our petitions with him through continual prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17) on our knees (Luke 22:41) and fasting (Ezra 8:23).
Whether you’re asking for a miracle, revelation, healing, a child or spouse, salvation for a loved one, clarity, guidance, or supernatural peace and strength, He longs to listen to and grant your request because He’s a good, good Father. When we show up and seek Him with our whole hearts, He is faithful to speak to our hearts in a very personal way and give our souls the rest that they crave (Jeremiah 29:13).
Kick unnecessary distractions to the curb.
Sometimes we fail to ask because we’re too wrapped up in other things and completely forget to make the effort. One thing that keeps many of us distracted are our phones; we spend A LOT of time on these devices. In fact, according to Brown (2019), “the average American spends 5.4 hours a day on their phone.” On top of the technological distractions that are vying for our attention, we have to battle the endless thoughts and worries that are swirling through our minds at super speed, especially during the unprecedented times we are currently living through. Despite this ubiquitous noise saturation, we always have a choice to pursue quiet time with Him — a place of respite and solitude where we get to lay our burdens and requests at His feet.
Despite this ubiquitous noise saturation, we always have a choice to pursue quiet time with Him
We may need to accept the fact that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to have quiet time with the Lord. I know I have the tendency to place legalistic expectations on myself and become quickly discouraged when I fall short of those goals. I think the most important thing to remember is that He always honors the time we do set aside for seeking His face and presenting our requests to Him.
Whenever I’d get too riled up and hyper as a kid, my dad would tell me to stop what I was doing, sit down on the couch, and breathe 10 times. Being the smart aleck I was, I would breathe quickly 10 times, like a woman in labor, so I could immediately resume whatever mischief I was up to. But that didn’t cut it for him. I had to take 10 slooooooow breaths, and after that, order in our household was restored. My dad is a retired correctional officer, so that would probably explain this odd, boot camp-esque parenting tactic.
However, it’s a tactic that makes me believe our Heavenly Father wants us to take the same sloooooow breaths that allow us to escape from the distractions that have us physically and/or mentally running around and to intead focus on not only communicating our needs and wants to Him, but simply praising and thanking Him for being the incredible, loving father He is.
He always honors the time we do set aside for seeking His face and presenting our requests to Him.
Our natural inclination for Father’s Day is to find something to gift the dads in our life with. However, what if we approached Father’s Day more like Christmas this year in regards to our relationship with Jesus? In the same way [some] children look forward to sitting on Santa’s lap to ask him for the gifts on their wish list with wonder in their eyes, let’s be intentional about sitting on Jesus’ lap, in the quiet and stillness, and unashamedly ask our gracious Abba to bless us with our hearts’ desires in His perfect timing, according to His perfect will. What will you ask Him for this Father’s Day in faith?
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. —1 John 5:14-15
Alyssa Mendez joined the CCA family August 2019 and serves as the Content Specialist on the Marketing and Communications team. She recently graduated with her master’s degree in leadership from Nova Southeastern University and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Florida where she majored in public relations and minored in theatre. Alyssa is married to an insurance agent/chef who she met her at her church youth group in middle school and is proud dog mom to one of this year’s CCA Auction puppies named Sadie.
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