How to pray: Ask, seek, knock

Luke-11-13-kjv

The Verse of the Day for June 13, 2014 is found in Luke 11:13 (KJV):

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

In order to understand more fully this verse, we need to examine the context of the statement made by the Lord Jesus Christ and look at Luke 11: 1-13:

Here we find Jesus Christ praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples asked him to teach them how to pray, “as John also taught his disciples.” The Lord goes on to teach them what has become known as the Lord’s Prayer. He goes on to offer an illustration of what it means to pray in Luke 11:5-13:

And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;

For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?

And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.

I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?

12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

A key component of prayer is asking which is emphasized in verses 9 and 10. A similar expression is used in Matthew 7:7-8:

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

The passage from Luke 11: 9-10 and Matthew 7:7-8 brought to mind a scripture memory song that I composed more than 10 years ago. The arrangement of the lyrics shows an acrostic poem that spells out the word “ask,” the first three letters of which form the three verbs found in verse 7. In a prayer notebook that I once had, I recall having a card with the words “Ask God” on one side and Matthew 7:7, 8 on the other.

In thinking about the two passages, I recognize that in the Greek New Testament the three verbs are expressed in the present progressive tense: meaning keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking. In the same manner that a child will keep asking for a treat while shopping with his or her parents, Jesus Christ says to continue to ask, continue to seek, continue to knock.

A few years I composed a scripture memory song based on the same passage:

Ask, Seek and Knock (Matthew 7:7-8)

Ask and it shall be given you;

Seek and you shall find.

Knock and it shall be opened unto to you.

Ask, seek and knock.

Ask, seek and knock.

 

For everyone who asketh receiveth.

He that seeketh findeth.

And to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

Ask, seek and knock.

Ask, seek and knock.

 

Always ask, no matter how great or small the task.

Serve the Lord God with a pure heart and remove the mask.

Keep trusting in the Lord–all you have to do is ask.

 

Someday soon we shall stand on top of the mountain peak.

Every golden promise God has fulfilled, as we speak.

Each day adds another victory toward your winning streak.

Keep pressing toward the mark to obtain the prize you seek.

 

Keep renewing your mind, assess your thoughts and take stock.

Never give up–build your hope on Christ, the solid rock.

Overcome the odds–by faith get around any roadblock.

Count your blessings with every tick-tock of the clock.

Keep this in mind and call on the Lord: ask, seek, and knock.

 

Kim McFarland and the Thompson Community Singers offer this stirring reminder: “Just Ask in My Name”

 

 

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