Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

ask ... seek ... knock ...

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Whenever I read these verses I always think of how the words Ask, Seek and Knock spell out ASK when you use the first letter of each word. Here is the way that I see the progression of prayer in these verses:
  • Ask: communicates to me the simplest form of prayer. Often all that is needed is to simply request something of the Father. Many times this is a one-time occurrence that is answered in a straightforward manner.
  • Seek: this type of prayer represents more than just a request. When we seek we do not seek for an answer so much as we seek God in the answer. The answers to seeking prayers often come in a much subtler fashion.
  • Knock: the role of persistence and perseverance in prayer is represented by this word. Lets face it, no one likes to stand knocking at a door for a long period of time. Yet this is the sort of prayer that can change us the most.
The wonder in what Jesus says is that each of these prayer types always has a God response. I sometimes ponder if, when my prayer is not answered, I am asking when I should be seeking or seeking when I should be knocking.

Teach me to pray Lord. Help me to discern the type of prayer that I need to pray. Assure me that you hear me when I pray. And create a thankful heart in me.


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