Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened for you.
Have you ever heard someone say, “You better be careful of what you ask God for. He just might give it to you.” I have. Most of the time we hear that statement when we are struggling with our walk with the Lord and we’ve confided in someone about that. Maybe we’ve asked the Lord to give us strength to face the battle and the strength might lead us into another area of our life that needs to be purged.
Recently, I’ve pondered about the question, “Are you afraid of what you ask for?” I believe God wants me to understand that though I believe in His almighty power to answer any of my prayers, I need to still let go of some fear I have. If we are having some problems in our walk with the Lord, I can understand that sometimes God’s answer to our prayers, may lead us to see ourselves or our situation as God sees it. And that may reveal other areas of our life where we need to change or to align with God’s will. So, “You better be careful of what you ask God for” might become a reality.
But I think that God wants all of us to understand that no matter what we ask for, He has our life in His hands and promises that nothing will harm us. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV) When we pray, it should be based on an understanding of God’s love for us. Through His grace, He gives us things which we don’t deserve, while through His mercy He shields us from those things which we do deserve.
God knows what lies ahead in our lives. He already lives in our tomorrows. So when God begins to lead us into other seasons, or on new paths that we don’t quite understand, it’s ok. When God reveals other areas in our life that He desires to touch in order so that our relationship with Him, can flourish, it’s ok. If the journey ahead of us seems to be full of hard work, commitment, and service, it’s ok. You see, it’s God’s plan. God expects His people to make requests of Him in prayer. He wants us to turn to Him in times of need or crisis, or when we need counsel, or when we desire His wisdom to make a decision. When we pray and ask God for something, it is an expression of dependence upon Him. We shouldn’t be afraid of His response.
Mathew Henry said this about our foundational verse. He said, “Here is the precept in three words to the same purport. Pray; pray often; pray with sincerity and seriousness; pray, and pray again; make conscience of prayer, and be constant in it; make a business of prayer, and be earnest in it. Ask, as a beggar asks alms. Ask; represent your wants and burdens to God, and refer yourselves to Him for support and supply, according to His promise. Ask as a traveler asks the way; to pray is to inquire of God. Seek, as for a thing of value that we have lost. Seek by prayer. Knock, as he that desires to enter into the house knocks at the door. We would be admitted to converse with God, would be taken into His love, and favor, and kingdom; sin has shut and barred the door against us; by prayer, we knock; Lord, Lord, open to us.”
God is our shield. “But You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” (Psalm 3:3 NIV) God is our strength. “You are my strength, I watch for You; You, God are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.” (Psalm 59:9 NIV) God is our portion. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” (Lamentations 3:24 NKJV) God is our deliverer. “But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay” (Psalm 40:7 NIV) God is our shelter and strong tower. “For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.” (Psalm 61:3 NIV) God is our ever present help in time of need. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1 NIV)
Friend, God loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and desires to lead us on the path that He has laid for us so that we can be blessed and prosper and find hope in Him. It may not be the path we would have chosen. Our path would be without trials and would be wide so that nothing could deter us. But God’s path is narrow. “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14 NKJV) Never be afraid of what you ask God for. Rejoice in your prayers to God. Believe and expect the unexpected. “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV) And when someone says to you, “You better be careful what you ask God for” reply, “I don’t have to. God knows what He’s doing.”
Precious Lord, thank You that we can come to you in prayer, Asking, Seeking, and expecting to Find. Our hope is in You Lord. You keep us from harm and Your plan is to prosper us. Help us place our trust in You and walk on the path You have laid for us. Teach us Lord as we walk together. Forgive us Lord when we turn and take the path we have laid. Rescue us Lord and bring us back. We love You and give You praise. In Jesus Name. AMEN.
Don’t believe me, believe God!