Summary: What does Jesus mean by ASK, SEEK, KNOCK? 1. ASK - Acknowledge our need and be ready to receive transformation 2. SEEK - Become an active partner with the LORD in your life 3. KNOCK - Be Ready to Welcome and Go through God's Open Doors
Theme: ASK, SEEK, KNOCK
What Does Jesus mean by telling us to Ask, Seek and Knock?
Proposition: What does Jesus mean by ASK, SEEK, KNOCK?
1. ASK - Acknowledge our need and be ready to receive transformation
2. SEEK - Become an active partner with the LORD in your life
3. KNOCK - Be Ready to Welcome and Go through God's Open Doors
Grace and peace to you from God the Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world!
Our passage this morning focuses on the Spiritual Discipline of Prayer. It begins with Jesus' disciples wanting Jesus to teach them about the spiritual discipline of prayer. In response Jesus:
+ shares with them a template for prayer ( "The Lord's Prayer" - verses 2-4),
+shares a parable that underlined their need for bold persistence in prayer (verses 5-8) and
+ shares the assurance that all true prayers will be received by our Heavenly Father (verses 9 - 13).
In this passage we come to a clear and concise understanding that prayer is ... "a learned experience and not simply the release of the heart's natural longings." (Fred Craddock).
We all know that a person doesn't automatically become a prayer warrior. Instead, like Jesus' disciples, we come to an understanding that prayer is something that we is a learned spiritual discipline. We must do more than simply desire to pray. We must come to the LORD as the disciples did and say - "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1).
Jesus' disciples had prayed all of their lives. The Jewish faith is both birthed and bathed in prayer. The Jewish day was regulated by its three distinctive times of prayer.1 And yet, these disciples saw something about the quality and quantity of Jesus' praying that caused them to see how little they knew about prayer and how much Jesus knew about prayer. They knew that in order for them to experience the depth, the richness and the effectiveness of praying like Jesus there were some things they needed to learn and implement in their own lives. And they knew that there was no better teacher on prayer than Jesus.
One of the greatest revelations and liberating experiences any of us can have is this reality. The reality that prayer will always be a continuous learning process. It's a learning process because true prayer is more about relationship that receiving. True prayer is never to be merely about the receiving of things. The point of our prayer lives is not to get what we think we want or need.
The point of true prayer as you examine all of Jesus' prayers and the other prayers of the Bible is that true prayer brings us into an ever deeper intimate relationship with the Lord. The fundamental foundation of true prayer is to transform our minds to think like the LORD thinks, our heart's to desire the things that the LORD desires and our soul's to love the things that the LORD loves.
The goal of true prayer is therefore what it does in our lives, in the lives of others and in the heart of God.
+The better we understand how to pray, the more we are able to think and act like the LORD.
+The better we understand how to pray, the more we line up our lives and our activities with the will of the LORD.
+The better we understand how to pray, the more time we devote to being the Lord's presence listening, responding , obeying and being restored into His image.
However, if all we want to do is to receive from the LORD, then our prayer time will be both self- absorbed, self- serving and expedient in nature. We will give the LORD a laundry list of our wants and perceived needs. And we will spend a minimum amount of time and energy on prayer. We will find ourselves adding prayer on as a second thought instead of it being a first passion.
How many of us have ever started talking to someone on the phone and we can hear them doing things in the background? We know that we do not have their full attention. For a few minutes it may not bother us. but then we realize we can't have enjoy a deep and meaningful conversation with all the background noise and activity. Usually, when that happens we either say something or we do whatever is necessary to quickly get off the phone. We decide that we will wait until there are no distractions so that we can truly talk.
The same is true in our prayer lives. We can fool ourselves into thinking that our deepest times of prayer can be had when we are doing something else. For example, I love to talk to the LORD while I mow the yard. I have since I was a young boy. But in doing so, those conversations with the LORD are never really deep or constant because there is always something that will get your attention. You have to make sure that you are mowing around the trees and plants the right way. You have to make sure that you don't slip and fall. You can pray, but it will always be filled with little distractions. The same is true when we try to make our deepest times of pray while we drive or do something else.