Keep On, Keeping On

Mt. 7:7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”

This is one of the most meaningful instructions, one of the most promising invitations that Jesus offers. Who doesn’t want to think about a God who is always handing out goody bags of heavenly gifts? It’s quite thrilling to think that all our asking, seeking, and knocking means the doors to heaven’s vault remain endlessly open for business and God’s goodness is available for the receiving.

Yet for those of us for whom this is not our first rodeo with this kind of passage, we know the various ways people can hop on scriptures like this and take them for wild, dangerous rides. Does Jesus mean he will pass out private jets to every televangelist who asks? Why, even though we have prayed for far more noble things than exorbitant luxuries do we fail to receive, to find, to encounter open doors?

Is it because we weren’t persistent enough? Jesus uses the present to tense in Greek, which means our asking, seeking, and knocking is not a one-time request but rather a continual asking. But Jesus also warns in the previous chapter (Mt. 6:7-8) that mere repetition of requests, “babbling on and on like the pagans,” is neither effective nor the point.

Mature prayer is not the mindless repetition of your requests; it is the relentless pursuit of God’s desires. Mature prayer is more about relationship with God than request from God. In that way it’s in line with our larger call to discipleship. Don’t sit still. Don’t grow static. Don’t settle for a passive faith and stagnate service. You and I are nowhere near being a finished product. We have more to learn, more to serve, more to pray, more to love, more to grow. So keep on asking, seeking, and knocking, and God will keep on working for you and in you for his glory.

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