June 2: A Divine Call to Prayer (Matthew 7:7-12)
Matthew 7:7-12 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. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.(ESV)
How would you rate the vitality of your prayer life? Do you pray consistently? Confidently? Most people find that prayer remains an ongoing struggle despite the divine call and encouragement that God gives us to pray. In our passage Jesus makes bold promises to those who ask, seek and knock that they will be answered. Meditate on Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:7-12 that we might be drawn into a deeper and greater thirst for a life of prayer. We will find in this passage that it is prayer that will fuel our ability to walk in a righteousness that surpasses the Pharisees as taught in the Sermon on the Mount.
Review and Apply
- What is Jesus teaching us by using the three-part command to “ask, seek and knock”?
- What are some divine purposes in his delay in answering prayer?
- The Puritans would frequently say, “Pray until you pray.” What does this mean?
- How do the two parables in vv. 9-11 encourage greater confidence in persevering prayer?
- Why does Jesus reference God as being “in heaven” develop confidence in our prayer? How does this apply to a current prayer request for which you have been praying?
- What is the relationship between the encouragement to pray in vv. 7-11 and the command to do unto others as you would have them do unto you in v. 12?
- What are some of the reasons why you fail at persevering prayer?
- What are the top three reasons why you struggle in prayer and how does this passage address those difficulties?
- How does the fatherhood of God encourage us toward greater persevering prayer?