Just ask: It’s just that simple

Luke-11-13-kjvThe 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?

The context of the statement made by the Lord Jesus Christ is found in Luke 11: 1-13 where he teaches what it means to pray. 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. A key component of prayer is asking, which is emphasized in verses 9 and 10, leading up to verse 13.

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.

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:

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.

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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.

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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.

To ask is to articulate a request, to put in words your heart’s desires. Philippians 4:6-7 in the Amplified Bible (AMP) puts it this way:

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

The essence of the discussion regarding our asking in the context prayer or letting our requests be made known to God is found in Mark 11:24 expressed in three different versions:

24 For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it]. [Amplified Bible]

24 Therefore I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for—believe that you have received them, and you will have them. [Holman Christian Standard Bible]

24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. [New King James]

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

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